An advertising campaign that compares Naomi Campbell to Cadbury chocolate has left the supermodel with a bitter taste in her mouth.
The ad features a photo of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bliss bar resting on a pile of diamonds beneath the slogan: “Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town.”
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“It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people as a race,” Campbell said in a written statement. “I do not find any humour in this, it is insulting and hurtful.”
The 41-year old supermodel has not said whether she will sue the firm, but she hasn’t yet ruled out legal action: “I am considering every option available to me.”
Cadbury, which is headquartered in London but owned by U.S.-food giant Kraft, said the Dairy Milk Bliss campaign would end this week, and that they had already pulled the plug before Campbell spoke out. “Cadbury takes its responsibility very seriously indeed and we would never produce any marketing activity we felt might cause offense to any section of society,” Cadbury’s spokeswoman Samantha Wothers said.
Intent aside, casual racism still hurts. Although Campbell has a history of overreacting to the slightest slight, the anger on show this time seems sincere, and could hark back to the early pains of childhood. “Racism in the playground starts with black children being called ‘chocolate bar,’” Simon Woolleey, the head of Britain’s Operation Black Vote, has said. “At best, this is insensitive, and at worst it demonstrates Cadbury’s utter disregard for causing offense. Its lack of apology just adds insult to injury. The Eurocentric joke is not funny to black people.”
Much less has been made of the diamonds featured so prominently in the ad campaign. On one level they may simply hint at Campbell’s lavish lifestyle. On another, they could reference the allegations that she accepted blood diamonds from Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia. (via the Guardian)
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