COMPLAINTS that the new Hunter’s Dry television commercial, which features rapper Jack Parow, is both irresponsible and racist have been dismissed in a ruling handed down yesterday by the Advertising Standards Authority Directorate (ASA).
The commercial depicts a group of four tired musicians stranded in the scorching heat of the desert as they walk and take turns rapping about their plight until they come across a fridge which contains the advertised alcoholic beverage.
Members of the public complained to the ASA that the commercial was irresponsible as it suggested the advertised beverage was a solution to a person’s problems. This complaint related specifically to Parow’s lyric “een slukkie, one drink, en weg is die pyn”.
Another complaint accused the commercial of racial discrimination, referring to the remarks, “Be quiet your rhyme is lame” and “Spare us the shame” which, it claimed, were disparaging and discriminated against Parow as a white person and musician. The directorate said it recognised the complainant’s concerns and sensitivities with regard to racial issues, but the content of the advertisement needed to be considered objectively from the viewpoint of a “hypothetical reasonable person”.
The respondent, Distell Group Ltd — the makers of the commercial — said the “pain” which is referred to was not about life’s problems, but rather the pain of being stranded in the desert.
It said the comments about the lame rhyming were not meant to discriminate on the basis of Parow’s race, they were meant to be realistic in portraying how close friends would often bicker when under duress.
The directorate said it agreed with the respondent that the remark “weg is die pyn” should be taken within the context of the whole commercial.
“It [the beverage] is only offered as refreshment. No suggestion is made that the advertised alcoholic beverage is a drink with curative qualities.”
The directorate said it was satisfied the commercial was clearly set in a scenario where friends were stranded in a desert.
The comments were made between friends who were hot and irritated and clearly not as patient as they would ordinarily be.