/ 30 April 2009

Priorities shifted in one fowl swoop

The ANC Youth League is concerned about running the country not about chicken outlet Nando’s, said its president Julius Malema on Thursday.

”I don’t know what’s happening with Nando’s. We are running this country and we cannot be concerned about chickens,” Malema said responding to a question on what he thought about the chicken outlet.

He told a media briefing at Luthuli House in Johannesburg that the league had reached an agreement with Nando’s and that it was no longer an issue.

”I eat chicken, it doesn’t matter which chicken, whether it’s one from the streets, cooked …”

The Nando’s television and radio adverts featuring a puppet named Julius — which could be a reference to Malema — who demands ”change”, were canned last week following complaints from the organisation.

The African National Congress Youth League 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 organisation said at the time.

On Thursday last week, Nando’s met the youth league and agreed to can all its television and radio adverts featuring the puppet named Julius.

But the chicken outlet hit back on Friday by airing an advert similar to the one that had stirred the controversy.

The new advert, which only ran until Sunday, featured the face of ”Julius” blurred out and his voice distorted, with a running strip at the bottom of the screen saying the picture and sound had been masked to protect innocent parties.

Nando’s marketing manager Sylvester Chauke said they had only run the adverts for the weekend because their campaign was coming to an end.

”We don’t know whether the youth league was happy with the last advert but we hope they were because all their issues were addressed …

”We blurred the puppet’s face, changed the voice and we were no longer calling him Julius.”

Chauke said the last advert was a ”Nando’s tongue-in-cheek way of responding to the league’s issues”. — Sapa