While attending FAMU (a historically black university) in the mid 1990's, I remember eating lunch at a diner and being startled by a young girl no more than 3 who had never seen a black person. She saw me, tugged her mother and said "Mommy...look at the chocolate lady. Her mother was both mortified and apologetic; I smiled at them both and took it in stride. The incident had faded from my memory until I came across the Huffington Post headline via Twitter.
Naomi Campbell, born and raised in London, is livid over the use of her name in the latest Cadbury ad.
The advertisement reads, "Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town," with an image of the candy posed on a mound of diamonds.
Her mother, Valerie Morris, told the Independent "I'm deeply upset by this racist advert. Do these people think they can insult black people and we just take it? This is the 21st century, not the 1950s. Shame on Cadbury."
According to Kraft, the parent company of Cadbury, the ad that was meant to be lighthearted has already been removed. But the damage is already done and Naomi and her mother are perusing legal action.
My thoughts...using my college memory as an example. It is one thing for a little girl with limited vocabulary and experience to refer to me as a chocolate lady. Children relate to what they know. I looked like the chocolate treats she was given. My 19 year old self found the incident funny and endearing.
Shouldn't Naomi be just as lighthearted...I think not.
Yes Naomi is a diva with dark skin but...really equating her with chocolate on such a public scale is insensitive and mercenary. Cadbury despite their claims of innocent humor clearly intended on making money using the ad and to add insult to injury failed to ask permission to use her name.
Shame on Cadbury for letting the idea even leave the creative studio. Advertising is meant to be eye catching and memorable and maybe even thought provoking but offensive and exploitative...never.
Alicia "aka" Fashiona