Fast-food chain Nandos is contesting the ban on its advert that the SABC deemed to have a “xenophobic undertone”.

The advert starts with the line “You know what is wrong with South Africa? It’s all you foreigners”. The advert then depicts the broad span of ethnic groups that live in South Africa disappearing in puffs of smoke, leaving only a Koi San man, who then says to the camera, “I’m not going anywhere. You *@!$ found us here.”

The follow up is “real South African’s love diversity”, with a promotion of a new meal package.

The SABC refused to run the ad due it its “xenophobic undertones”. Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told Business Day, “By the time they get to the diversity message, people could have interpreted it in any which way.”

“With foreigners being attacked in South Africa, our concern is that it might re-enforce that … We are in no way interested in commercial gain over the public’s interest,” Kganyago said.

e-TV and DSTV, who had initially aired the ads, then followed suit and also stopped airing the ad.

Nando’s marketing manager Thabang Ramogase believes the response on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook has confirmed that the majority of South Africans had enjoyed the satire and understood the message of the ad.

“I’m puzzled by how the media owners have actually banned the commercial, they’ve completely misunderstood it, and I’m incredibly disappointed because I think it says a lot about freedom of speech and freedom of expression in South Africa,” said Quinton Cronje, Nandos’ marketing director.

The Advertising Standards Authority will deal with the dispute, however all broadcasters do have the right to not air advertisements if they chose, on the grounds of taste. An ASA stamp of approval may not be enough to get the commercial back on air.

Nandos marketing team is supposedly already formulating a come-back advert to make light of the banning.

Nandos has a used comical advertising which pushes on South African issues, and has received bans before. Most recently, Nandos ran an advert in which a Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe look-alike sat alone at a large dinner table, remembering the “good old days”, with scenes depicting him having fun with other famous dictators who are now deceased.

View “Nandos Diversity” and “The Last Dictator Standing”