/ 5 May 2009

Julius Malema puppet under the hammer

A Julius Malema puppet, the star of a Nando’s advert, is up for auction — and the chicken outlet believes it will receive ”at least R5” for him.

”We didn’t want him to spend the rest of his life being an ornament,” Nando’s national marketing manager Sylvester Chauke was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper on Tuesday.

”We do expect him to fetch a good price — he has become a celebrity overnight. And his whole wardrobe comes out of the Woolworths children’s section. He’s completely on trend,” added Chauke.

In a campaign that has secured Nando’s maximum media coverage, the puppet first entertained audiences in an advert mocking the ANC Youth League leader’s ”demand for change”.

”You order a quarter peri-peri chicken with chips and a cooldrink for R33,95,” said the puppet in the advert.

”You pay with R40, you get R6,05 change, but if you pay with R100, you get R66,05 change. That’s more change than you paid for the meal in the first place.”

The ANCYL threatened ”militant action” if Nando’s did not pull the advert.

The chicken outlet, known for its risqué advertising campaigns, responded by reflighting the ad with the face of the puppet blurred and his voice distorted.

It also featured a running strip at the bottom of the screen, declaring that the picture and sound had been masked to protect innocent parties.

Now Nando’s has decided to auction the puppet for charity.

The charity benefiting from the hand-crafted radio-controlled ventriloquist dummy, is the Self-Help Development Organisation, which helps young men to finish school and study mechanics, woodworking and electrical engineering.

”We’re sure the ANC Youth League won’t have a problem with that,” said Chauke.

To bid for the puppet, SMS 32546 and state the figure you are offering.

Bidding ends on May 6 at midnight. The highest bid will be published in the Star and on IOL. – Sapa