/ 23 April 2009

Nando’s bows to pressure, agrees to pull ‘Julius’ advert

The African National Congress Youth League has persuaded Nando’s to can its ”disgusting” television and radio adverts featuring a puppet named Julius.

The league met with Nando’s on Thursday, it said in a statement.

”The ANCYL expressed our concern over the advertisement and requested Nando’s to promptly withdraw the adverts in all television and radio channels.

”The ANCYL and Nando’s have agreed that the advertisements should be withdrawn within 24 hours in all the television and radio channels they were aired,” it said.

”Nando’s will continue to properly advertise their products in a suitable manner, and disassociate the ANCYL and its president Julius Malema from their advertisements.”

The brief statement concluded that the league ”strongly believes in freedom of expression and creativity which respects other people and organisations”.

On Tuesday, the league called for the immediate withdrawal of the ”disgusting” ads.

It said the advertisements used ”cheap satire” to undermine electoral politics in South Africa.

”We are fully aware that the advertisement is intended at mocking the president of the ANCYL, and in a racist fashion portrays political leaders as cartoons.”

The league threatened to ”mobilise the people of South Africa to take militant action” against Nando’s and anything associated with Nando’s if the ads were not withdrawn.

The television adverts feature a puppet named Julius — which could be a reference to Malema — who demands ”change”.

Nando’s marketing manager Sylvester Chauke was not available for comment on Thursday.

However, responding to the ANCYL on Tuesday, he said Nando’s went with the political theme because ”it is what is happening in the country at the moment”.

”Our advertisements are not a stab at Julius Malema at all. What is it that Nando’s said in the advert that is negative about him? If only I could have an answer to that.” – Sapa