An advert for fast food chain Nando’s, using the now instantly-recognisable image of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe falling, is a fake, the company said on Thursday.
“Nando’s Zimbabwe would like to assure the people of Zimbabwe that this advertisement was neither created or sanctioned by Nando’s,” the chain said in an advert published in Zimbabwe’s state-run Herald newspaper.
Images have been circulating on social media in Zimbabwe of an advert for Nando’s flame-grilled chicken with the caption: “Falling for our chicken is risky business.”
Under the caption is a silhouette of Mugabe depicting his tumble on the red carpet at Harare International Airport earlier this month.
Fake ad, but still worthy of being a “Nando’s ad”. LOL. http://t.co/bQmkAg5gLf
— Marian Pike (@marianpike) February 19, 2015
— Nooruddin Hargey (@NooHar) February 19, 2015
Nando’s said the advert “constitutes an abuse of our brand and trademarks and we distance ourselves from this material”, and appealed “to our fans and customers not to share this advertisement in the mistaken belief that it is a creation or product of Nando’s”.
In 2011, Nando’s South Africa withdrew a TV advert for the chain that poked fun at Mugabe as “the last dictator standing”. The chain said then that some of its staff had received threats.
Mugabe tripped on a ‘bump’
Mugabe’s ruling party, Zanu-PF, insists that the long time president stumbled over “a bump” in the carpet on February 4.
State security agents at the airport tried to force photographers to delete pictures. But images survived and quickly went viral, sparking a wave of comedy memes showing the 90-year-old president in a variety of undignified situations.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said last week the incident had taught the authorities that they should have confiscated cameras from the press contingent. – Sapa, Staff reporter