My Objection To A Controversial Advert

Acknowledging that I’d complained about one of the Trident commercials (featured in my piece on Controversial TV Adverts) prompted some users to write in and slate me. (no name) said: "Would you like me to get you a peice [sic] of fish, for the chips on your shoulder. Pulling the ‘race card’. How original. Im [sic] actually black myself, and I nor anyone I know found that offensive. All idiots like you acheive [sic] by playing the ‘its so offensive and racist’ card is an even worse sterotype [sic] that we all out to claim the white man is victimising us yet again. Grow up, your [sic] pathetic."

Conversely, I’ve had e-mails and messages from other users genuinely interested in my reasons for objecting. Sonia wrote to say: "I read your article about the TV ads and needed to ask you why you felt offended about the Trident gum ad?"

I really hope a previous blog entry I penned entitled Leave Tom And Jerry Alone will throw some light on the subject. Have a read of it first and then watch the videos below. Contrary to the opinion of a few, I am not easily offended and I am no Mary Whitehouse. However, this advert prompted a heated reaction within my circle of family and friends every time it aired as we all felt it was insensitive. If my explanation hasn’t satisfied you, feel free to let me know. By the way, I am not looking for converts here; I realise that many people liked this Trident TV commercial and found it hilarious. We’ll agree to disagree on its merits. However, I’ve been asked to explain myself and so….

Is this noughties advert…….(watch)


….any different to these plus half-century old depictions of black people featured in the ending montage of Spike Lee’s Bamboozled? I made my decision. You can make yours. [watch]


Today I am mostly lovin’ – How utterly cool of ITV to use Marlena Shaw’s classic rare groove ‘California Soul’ to advertise their summer programming. If you want to hear the track in full, check out my music list at the left hand side of my blog.

Today I am mostly hatin’ – Alexandra’s attitude (Big Brother). Listen luv, respect isn’t a birthright. You have to earn it…

MSN Editor Coops
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80 Responses to My Objection To A Controversial Advert

  1. Esther says:

    Ok so I have a question from reading that blog entry and watching that video montage video, does anyone remember the Kia Ora adverts? With the little black kid and I dont remember looking at you tube its like some crows or something, now i loved that advert but would that now be classed as unacceptable? Maybe that contains some stereotypical views of southern american black people. Also i read it somewhere and it reminded me of golliwogs, ah golliwogs. I used to collect the badges from robinsons jam, nearly had the whole collection before they were discontinued. I didnt find the advert offensive, i didnt find the advert funny and it sure didnt make me want to buy trident gum so i guess it failed on every level with me.

  2. Coops - says:

    I remember the Kia-Ora advert; loved it. I watched it again with my mates recently and we were all singing along. Happy days. Would a soft drinks company use such a representation to push their product today? I doubt it. But everyone still remembers that advert, and fondly too, so in terms of product recall, the advertising agency earned their pennies ("We all adore a Kia-Ora!"). It always reminded me of the crows in Disney\’s Dumbo…Here\’s the funny thing – the Kia-Ora advert doesn\’t offend me but that Trident advert makes my blood boil.

  3. ANTONY says:

    ummmmmm. am i missing something? what is it he says or does tht is offensive? its too easy to offend a black person these days, im almost afraid to speek to them incase they take sumthing the wrong way, and then id be branded a racist lol they can say what ever they like to white people and that would be fine. i guess what im trying to say is shouldnt people be happy with who they are enough not to worry about what colour they are or where they are from, wheather they are black white red yellow or green and if sum 1 is to make fun of their heritage big deal. its all rubish, much more important things to worry about thn where you have come from and stupid chewing gum advert, im probably missing the point with this advert but in general, i think black people are too sensitive, and if your still holding on to the slave times and equlity crap its just as bad as saying germans are still Nazi\’s and are liable to kill a jew .

  4. Coops - says:

    (no name), I\’ve done my very best to explain to you what some people found objectionable about that Trident advert. I freely admit that not everyone was offended by this TV commercial, but The Advertising Standards Authority wouldn\’t have banned the advert unless it felt the objections were justified. The ASA noted that while Cadbury had undertaken "careful consumer research" before the campaign launch and consulted members of the British Afro Caribbean community, its own findings had shown that the ads were likely to result in a polarised reaction from viewers. Complainants to the ASA included a comment that the ads had a "near Driving Miss Daisy degradation" and I myself feel that the age of black people being smiling, idiotic minstrels should be history. You acknowledge that you\’re probably missing the point – I think you are. But at least you\’ve tried to see the point. 🙂 And I disagree with your assertion that it\’s "too easy to offend a black person". Mary Whitehouse wasn\’t black, was she? And she was offended by everything.

  5. mike says:

    Black, white , blue with pink spots,,,who cares,,,its just a crap advert , and I find it an insult to my intelligence,,,and its offensive, why do ad men think we are all thick ? And why dont they give children who appear in commercials lessons in table manners,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  6. KC says:

    I concur with mike its just a stupid advert. I think political correctness can go over time. I mean i remember hearing that the use of the term Nitty Gritty was to be banned as it had connotations linked to slavery, but seriously how many people would know that? things like that are what gets up peoples noses. But i can see why people objected as this advert does it blatently, not inadvertently. Personally, i wasnt offended. What offended me more was that Damned awful BBC series supposedly aimed at black people as their schedule doesnt have much (or anything if you like). I dont know the name i saw about 5 minutes of one show and i thought how on earth did this EVER get made. It was so bad. Does anyone know what im talking about?

  7. Coops - says:

    \’Nitty Gritty\’ was to be banned Pumpkinpie? I never heard that! Blimey. Well, that\’s as ridiculous as banning the word \’blackboard\’ or saying that children can\’t recite nursery rhyme \’Baa Baa Black Sheep\’. I\’m not in favour of political correctness for the sake of it – stooooopidness like that only serves to undermine genuine instances of offensiveness. Anyway, I\’m pretty certain that the BBC series you\’re talking about is called The Crouches – info here. It was truly awful. Really, really, really bad. I\’d prefer it if the BBC not waste licence payers\’ money on tokenist tripe like that in future…

  8. Kevin says:

    I\’m sorry but I don\’t see anything wrong with that advert, If it was a white guy dressed as an afro-carribean, then yes, but as it is I just dont see the problem. Personally, I have a problem with radio 1\’s "1 extra" station, which uses the phrase "love black music, love 1 extra" . To me, music is music, and I did think to myself, what an outcry there probably would have been if it was the other way around, and they launched something similar like "Love white music, love 1 extra". We are all human at the end of day, im from Bristol and if that trident advert had been done by someone with a thick bristolian accent, I would have found it very amusing.

  9. Coops - says:

    Thanks for your thoughts about the Trident advert (no name). I note your Bristol analogy – however, the nationality of the protagonist isn\’t the issue. Not in the way that you think it is, anyway. May I draw your attention to the Comfort adverts (watch here). These adverts draw on black culture to push their product via the Do The Moves reggae song and the video itself is filmed in the West Indies. And yet, the contrast between the two approaches couldn\’t be more marked. Everybody loves the Do The Moves adverts because they\’re an affectionate nod to the perceived \’colour\’ of the West Indies (golden sands, golden sun, blue sea, tropical flowers etc, clever tie-in to the product itself), the song is catchy and it\’s an all-round feel-good advert. It\’s the demeaning way the comic in the Trident commercial is \’minstrel-ised\’ that many found insulting.  

  10. Esther says:

    yes apparently nitty gritty was the place in the bottom of the ships where the slaves were kept, so its not a PC term. Thats the show BOY was it bad.I totally have to disagree with no name about 1 extra. Thats a different issue. Its not like its saying love black music, be black listen to 1xtra. You have to accept theres music classed as \’black\’ I mean the MOBOs stand for Music Of Black Origin, and its not like only black artists are involved, because amy winehouse and joss stone have been nominated. 1xtra play predominatly r and b reggae and dancehall and others, all classified as \’black music\’ its not excluding white asian or any other people, its catering for a musical taste like asian network, or classic rock. music is music but its classified in genres and certain types of people listen to certain types of music. Ask yourself who predominantly listens to and makes hip hop tracks? What ethnicity are the major rock acts? Not everyone conforms to that obviously but im being reasonable

  11. Lloyd says:

    I personally was not offended by this advert, although I can see why this advert may of offended people.One thing gets me though, if they had a white person from Newcastle with a strong accent (like my grandad!) no-one would be as offended would they?  I respect your view though I have been offended and shocked by some of the adverts that are being broadcast today, and all i can remember is the words "Cillit Bang" and I do not want to buy anything, seriously todays world is way too commercialized.I believe the aim of this advert is just showing that the taste of the product makes people go a bit nutty! but to be honest i don\’t want to buy it and i found it somewhat funny that a person would go to such lengths to tell people about it, i think the advertising team should of done more research!

  12. Coops - says:

    Lloyd mate, thanks for your commnent. Please see mine below explaining why this was, and is, NOT simply a nationality or regionality issue. It\’s about the usage of, to quote the Advertising Standards Authority, "harmful stereotypes."

  13. Kirsty says:

    i had to ask, has anyone asked the star of the trident advert what he thought? You\’ve got to wonder, did he feel offended whilst making the advert? His performance played a huge part of the way the commercial comes across, and I wonder if he is offended that people think his performance was a harmful stereotype? I personally didn\’t like this advert when it came out, and I didn\’t like the bumbling englishmen chained to a gate who replaced it any more… is this a harmful stereotype in itself? And are people in general automaton-esque enough to form an opinion on an entire race of people based on one clearly spoof-driven, (i presume) well-intentioned advertisment for chewing gum? And does anyone think the owners of trident gum are rubbing their hands together with profit-ridden glee at the extra publicity for their brand all this controversy and debate has caused? Call me cynical…

  14. Phil says:

    I have seen the advert and although it did not offend me, as I am white, it did strike me immediately that this was a little backward in its representation and would probably not be on the television for very long. The point, in my opinion, is that there is no necessity for the character to be as he is. The other examples (Kia-Ora etc.) have some intended reference to black culture whereas this just seems to be using cliche and racist stereotype for purely comic effect. Although it is a black man performing in the advert I have to assume that at least some of the performance came from him because I cannot see how he would have been asked to perform in such a stereotypical manner without himself feeling that he was being stereotyped.I understand that there is feeling amongst a lot of people that black people are \’too easily offended\’ these days and that \’you can\’t say anything without being a racist\’ and I suppose there a few instances that could be used to back up such an opinion. However, considering what black people have had to deal with, both in history and even still today, it is unfair to chastise if on occasion people become offended by something that is not intended to be offensive per se. If I was to be honest I think that too much legislation against racism can actually serve to enhance it\’s power but there must still remain a forum for opinion to be expressed and if even a few people are genuinely offended by something that is purely in existence to make a very rich company even richer, whether it be racist, sexist or any other form of prejudice than I think we, as a civilised and \’equal\’ society, are obliged to remove it from the public domain.

  15. Unknown says:

    I haven\’t seen the advert but i do think that a lot of black ppl are so easily offended and are far too sensitive.  The politically correct nonsense about the golly wog and kids singing baa baa black sheep annoys me as these innocent traditions been around for years. Can we still call a blackbird a blackbird or is that offensive? It is just ridiculous. Black people can be as equally racist to white ppl.

  16. Sarah says:

     Lorna, I want to salute you. You\’re using your blog for the right thing: DEBATE.
     Not only this but you\’ve had the patience, and dignity to respond to many posts in a thought provoking way.
     it\’s too rare that we have this level of debate about popular culture and our society.
     All we have to do is flip blog to the \’comments\’ regarding Amy Winehouse, to see what some people think is \’acceptable\’ or \’not racist\’
     (even though the ENTIRE point of the \’football chant\’ is TO BE racist – so how is that turned around). It is interesting that no one ever describes the BNP as \’whinging\’ or having \’ a chip on their shoulder\’. Yet that might be more appropriate. Moreover no one ever describes the superrich tax dodgers, or the multinational companies who are happy to let us all fight it out over scraps –
    Eric Williams was right – racism is a function of economics, a divide and conquer. If we\’re all so upset about whose getting the last council flat in Engerlund then we don\’t change the system. I\’m not a rabit socialist. I like markets, where they\’re useful.
    If you want to read a brilliant and fascinating set of books (about South America so all of us whities who are a little tender and \’guilty\’ or defensive can manage it as not right on our doorstep) read Eduardo Galeanos utterly brilliant \’Memory of Fire\’ triology.
    That should be on the school GCSE history syllabus. Along with CLR James. Then we\’d be talking … Then we\’d be able to (accurately) enjoy the historicity and sometimes ambivalent cultural creations (strong black woman/stereogype? – both?) whilst not feeling belittled or \’made wrong\’ whatever \’race\’ we are.
    I\’m really surprised to find intelligent (mostly) debate on this site. Brava to you for daring to bring it on.

  17. Coops - says:

    Hello all, I\’d like to answer your points separately. Kirstylou, you make a very good point. I have no idea who the actor in the advert is but in my experience, some people will do anything for money. However, in fairness to him, it\’s very possible that he had no idea how the finished commercial would look. 
    (no name) who left a comment here on 13 June at 17:17, naturally I disagree with your argument about "black ppl" being "easily offended" and "far too sensitive". As I said before, I\’m no Mary Whitehouse. Lest we forget, this is the woman who complained about Doctor Who and Tom and Jerry…and what colour was she? The politically correct nonsense you refer to isn\’t wholly the domain of black people y\’know. Who do you think is running the councils and bodies that comes up with some of the more ridiculous objections? I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment but it\’s a shame that all you\’ve added is a moan about black people being too \’easily offended\’ without seeing the advert, despite my placing it here on the site. However, somehow I suspect that even if you do watch the advert, you\’ll miss the point.
    henderson, how very kind of you! However, I\’m gonna give the credit to the people who\’ve contributed to the debate, irrespective of whether I agree with them or not.

  18. John says:

    I looked at the ad; found it boring, incomprehensible and non-descript.  Indeed, I had watched it before finding that it was the ad in question.  But the only offence I  found was that it wasted a few seconds of my life.
    I feel that so many people have a \’racist radar aerial\’ continuously looking for offence.  There is so much self defence these days, and what used to be universally acceptable  is now deemed to be too risky.  Parents are not allowed to take photos of their children in group situations because of the small risk such images will be used by paedophiles.
    Unfortunately, to make people realise what really matters there needs to be a pandemic.  If I have to explain my logic here it shows how far society has moved from earthy, survival mode.

  19. Darren says:

    I seriously couldn\’t  find this ad racist, and others I\’ve spoken to thought the ad was just a waste of time and money, what I care more about is the constant under the radar racism directed at white people. My answer is this, if black people don\’t like things in this country then they are very welcome to clear off. Why do you think so many people are turning to the BNP with idiots like you being all do-goody when there\’s no need to be.

  20. Coops - says:

    Hello Darren, I was waiting for someone like you to come along; did you tell the Christian objectors to the BBC\’s screening of Jerry Springer The Opera to "clear off" out of the country too? Or are you only annoyed (threatened?) by black people having an opinion? Here\’s a challenge, why not go to a site discussing quantum physics and see if you can twist a discussion into a wholly illogical excuse to fly the flag for the BNP? Guess what? My money\’s on you to do it….Thanks for taking the time to express your opinion.

  21. Unknown says:

    wow darren why not just tell all the british born black people whove been here generations, some quite possibly longer than your own family, do you know your roots? To go back to \’where they came from\’. I think youll notice if you read through the posts everyone here agrees thats ridiculous gestures that pander to idiotic political correctness such as banning the word christmas so as not to offend muslims and others, and changing it to baa baa rainbow sheep are ludicrous theyre often disagreed with by the very people theyre meant to appease and theyre not even instigated by said people, but most often white people trying to do the right thing. Maybe ive missed the constant under the radar racism aimed at white people as you missed the point of the advert, what offends some doesnt offend others. People are turning to the BNP for the same reasons they always have. As soon as things start being messed up, you have to find a scapegoat and of course thats those people who dont belong. Look at south africa as an example, this is black people killing other black people because theyre not from that country. And history shows its not the only example, ask jewish people. The problem is only compounded when a few bad people tar an entire nation/ethnicity/race by acting disgracefully

  22. Coops - says:

    Thank you for your contribution Princess; well said.

  23. Coops - says:

    hahahahaha Darren! coops served your ass like John McEnroe (line from Jump Around by House of Pain). I HATE that Trident advert and I complained about it too cos it\’s insulting. I like seeing positive representations of black people on TV, like the wassssssssssssup! Budweiser ads, those were great ads. "Wassssssssssssssssssup!"  

  24. lucy says:

    I think that Darren does have one very small point in his polarised argument- there is no need to be so \’goody-goody\’. Not all (in fact, hardly any) ethnic minorities think every reference to their heritage/people/culture is a racist slur. It\’s more insulting to think that these people have victim complexes and think everything is about the white man oppressing them somehow.To Darren- this isn\’t your country, it isn\’t my country so stop acting like you own it. We all have to live on the same planet together so let\’s all learn to live with each other, like it or not.Also, what\’s so un-positive about a black comedian going crazy over chewing gum? It\’s just a joke guys, black people have them too y\’know!

  25. Coops - says:

    Hello Lucy ;-D – thank you for your contribution. Hmmmmm – \’goody-goody\’? Moi? Never! I\’m a South Park fan. I love The Sopranos. I crack up at Sex and The City. I die laughing at live Richard Pryor, Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy stand-up concerts – all have contentious content, but I have never found any of it objectionable. The Trident advert with the minstrel-ised black man is the only thing I have ever complained about in my life. I think that\’s pretty good going. 🙂 

  26. Joe says:

    Having watched the advert, I am afraid I do not see quite how it is racially insensitive. Are you trying to assert that this character is a deliberate depiction of all black people in general, or that the character is somebody you as a black person would not want to be associated with?
    Without trying to be contentious, it does feel like you have taken an advert 99% who see it feel is completely innocuous and made something out of nothing, which leads people to get wound up. Obviously the fact that you enjoy South Park hints at the fact that you are not generally that sensitive in this regard, but conversely I do not think that you should use it as a pedestal upon which to place your views on this matter. 
    Personally I believe in the proverb \’seek and you shall find\’ and although I don\’t quite believe you tried to find anything wrong with the advert, I would perhaps suggest that something in that advert irked you and you have sought to prove it. I am just worried that in this sort of situation, where 99% of people do seem to feel it is entirely innocent and you complain about it, it leads to people being unsure about what they can do, what they can say and how they should act which in turn makes people more uncomfortable when interacting with people of another race.
    Of course that seems like a world away from such a small complaint, especially as you don\’t complain about things that would appear much worse, but it is the fact that there is another person just like you making accusations about another seemingly innocent advert and so on and so forth. Anway, just my immediate thoughts upon seeing it.
    Ps. Man Utd to retain the Premiership this year 😉

  27. Coops - says:

    Hey Joe (classic song!) – thanks for your contribution, definitely food for thought. When I put the article about Controversial TV Adverts together, I acknowledged that I\’d complained about one of the commercials featured in order to personalise my feature. Naturally, some wanted to know what I\’d objected to – hence this blog post. As I stated previously, I\’m not looking for converts – I realise that many people found the advert hilarious. What I\’m hoping to do instead is throw a little light on why there were objections and why the ASA deemed that particular commercial as having breached broadcasting codes leading to it being banned. If you take a look at my blog posts, you will see that I\’ve offered my view on a wide variety of subjects – from Grange Hill to Minder and from Fiona Phillips\’ Chelsea love-ins to Pushing Daisies. And as for your football team – I\’m sick of my boys handing you lot titles. And Ronaldo is a big wet girlie at a McFly concert (that\’ll probably get me in trouble with the feminists)   🙂

  28. Esther says:

    Creepy Coops whenever i say Hey Joe i always think Hendrix. I dont know i got to agree that if you dont get offended by comedians like chris rock pryor et al and you can laugh along with family guy the simpsons, south park who slur just about everybody, to say youre seeking to find offense in an advert seems a little unlikely. Personally it was just like the gums not THAT good chill,  but i know older family members who found it offensive. It depends on the person and their experiences perhaps.

  29. Unknown says:

    I have just watched the clip and to be honest I just don’t get the problem with it at all. The adverts naff and I can’t get away from that, but I just don’t see the racist angle.
    Is it the character acting like a plank that you don’t like? (Plenty of other races do that) is it the urban, chav type stereo typical lingo he is putting on with a trowel that you object to? (Go to any school playing ground and many kids mimic it the same) Is it the fact that he’s doing a stand up routine on stage that’s not at all funny that you object to? Is it the fact that he is running round the streets shouting like a blithering idiot?
    Seriously, I think the race card is the wrong card to play here. When you use the race card in relation to things like this it weakens the argument when something is seriously offensive. One could argue that you are being a bit over sensitive. Or are you just provoking debate for the sake of it?
    Having given the advert significant thought I think it is it’s a dire advert, I would certainly agree on that but it’s not racist.
    Also, digging up vintage black and white minstrel clips doesn’t help your cause either. A black man on stage shouting and acting a plank in its own right is not racist. (Stupid and irritating yes) A white man painting his face black to poke fun at black people is racist. The two are not the same.
    I can think of millions of adverts that I don’t like on TV  (the one with the child on the toilet shouting “it stinks, its stinks” or whatever it was comes to mind) do I complain.. No. I just switch it off.  I think for whatever reason you have taken offence to this particular advert and that’s your call and yes sometimes black people like any one can be depicted badly on TV and we all have reason to question it (the current BB inmates prove the point!)But I think you have made the wrong call here in relation to this advert – It’s a dire advert, not a racist one.

  30. Coops - says:

    Hello (no name), thank you for adding your thoughts. I\’ve attempted to give a fuller picture of what people objected to (it wasn\’t just me 🙂 ) and why the advert ended up getting banned (for breaching broadcasting codes). I appreciate that there is a subjective argument here (one man\’s meat/poison and all that) and so I\’m finding everyone\’s reaction truly fascinating.

  31. Carly says:

    Stereotypes did not appear out of thin air. They were created because people who talked/looked/etc. like that really existed and still do, although perhaps not in numbers that we may have been led to believe. So some people did speak and look like "Mammy Two Shoes" and the nanny in "Gone With The Wind". Similarly, there are plenty of people (of more than one colour) who speak like the idiot in the Trident commercial. Some of them put the accent on, and some of them don\’t.
    Personally, I think that making a fuss of such trivial things only gives them more publicity than they could have ever dreamed of.

  32. Coops - says:

    coops, my dad – a true Jamaican – was so disgusted with this advert that he\’d turn the channel over every time it came on! I\’m not surprised to see it was one of the most complained about adverts last year. It\’s not about \’lacking a sense of humour\’ or \’playing the race card\’, it\’s about true offensiveness. The advertising agency that came up with the concept should be ashamed. However, I\’m really surprised that the KFC advert iwth the women talking with their mouths full is the most complained about advert ever! I laughed when that came on!!!  

  33. david says:

    Now, censorship is all well and good in certain instances but surely this is taking it a little to the extreme.I have to admit that I am stuck firmly in the camp where I belive that either everything should be censored or nothing should be, therefore either everything is funny or nothing is. This is something that I grew up with, so I guess you could say that it is a  condtioning by society.As far as the trident advert goes, I\’ve watched it over and over again and honestly can\’t see the harm in it, I don\’t think that it\’s terribly funny and to be utterly honest I think its a pretty poor attempt at an advert, However, I think what we fail to realise is the fact that this is a performance piece and not a direct reflection on the black comunity in the UK, or for that matter any other country. Nevertheless, I can understand that some people take offence to it which is perfectly ok. Nothing wrong with that, we\’re all entitiled to our opinions, but a black dude in a spoken word contest speaking with a jamacan twang… surely just as offencive as every white role in a Spike Lee movie? Now, I\’m not making a case for racism, but I\’d like to think that as well adjusted members of society we are able to have a good old laugh at everyone in society (white, black, ablebodied, disabled, the list goes on…) when it is presented to us in a \’all good fun\’ context. Lets face it, the advert could have been worse, if it was watermellon flavoured chewing gum (presumably following a hearty meal of rice chicken and beans) I\’d be the first one shouting and blowing my racist whistle. But it wasn\’t, it was just as bad as a Basil Faulty\’s dodgy german accent, or perhaps the movie \’White Chicks\’. As a nation we are incapable of looking beyond the face value of things like this, as such there are a small percentage who will admit to chortling heartily at the advert in question, there are equally a small percentage who will admit to finding it horribly racisist. What we are unable to do, or rather can\’t be bothered to do is to explain it to our children in relation to the social context, or to use it as an example of devils adocate that provokes thought. In provoking thought we laugh at (rather than with) Al Murray\’s pub landlord, we laugh at the simpsons\’ portrayal of middle america, we even laugh at big brother (which shows our fair land to be full of lowest common denominator racists)- the reason that we laugh at these are because they are sterotypes, we are socially cultured to find what is alein to use to be hummorous in some way or form. It goes without saying that regardless of creed, colour or ethnicity we are all have our own intrisic hangups over race and it would be silly, nay downright ilinformed to say otherwise.By envoking the race or PC card in the case of the trident advert, we ourselves are in danger of becoming intrinsically racist as we censor important and relevant socio-cultural asspects from our TVs- thus not enabling inward reflection towards our own race- the British race. (Yes, sounds silly but it\’s real.). Needless to say that we have glossed over the fact that the advert is displayed to us as a spoken word performance which is open to individualy dialectical & semantic interpretation. Has anyone actually properly analysed the language used for meaning or implied meaning vs context & humour? Thought not.There are a lot of people in our society who have big chips on thei shoulder owing to events of history, but whats done is done and it\’s time to just get on with it. White, black, asian, we all have experienced racisim throughout our lives from all areas of the community, some of us more than others, but the vast majority of us just get on with life and let people with backward ideologies burn themselves out and look stupid. To say that we must not censor Tom and Jerry on the basis of cultural and historical relevance is quite hypocritical, as even adverts like the trident advert have the same sense of cultural relevance (albeit without the historical asspect), and have clearly put the cat amoungst the pidgeons and provoked inter racial relations to be built in the wake of its demise. Let\’s have the advert back. Perhaps Whoopie could help….

  34. Coops - says:

    Dave – from the bottom of my heart – I thank you for a very thoughtful post. This I will never agree with though: "To say that we must not censor Tom and Jerry on the basis of cultural and historical relevance is quite hypocritical, as even adverts like the trident advert have the same sense of cultural relevance (albeit without the historical asspect)". It is FIRMLY implanted in historical aspect – a very negative one. Or at least, that\’s the view of the objectors. But I\’ve enjoyed your contribution and like the majority of users who\’ve left a comment here, it\’s all been terribly civilised. I might try this again at a later date, but with an advert that women were up in arms about on the grounds of sexism. 🙂

  35. Pete says:

    It is a sad state of affairs that someone is offended by a TV advert. Perhaps if you came home from Iraq or Afghanistan with less than 4 limbs, only to be told that you don\’t qualify for full disability allowance, you might be slightly more offended.
    The British are a tolerant people. It seems that we are fair game for other, non British people to poke fun at, but should, heaven forbid, it be the other way round then one is branded as a racist, which, in this day and age is on the same level as being branded a paedophile it would seem (or at least in the "Camden Trendies" idealogy).
    It seems too politically fashionable to parade oneself as a victim of racism these days. In the society we live in, being a victim or receiving couselling for emotional distress is almost a rite of passage. Next time I\’m walking through the graveyards of the Somme, Standing at the Menin Gate or spending time at a grave in Katchanaburi, I\’ll bear in mind the emotional trauma you\’ve endured. I\’m sure it\’ll be cold comfort to the men who fell protecting the rights you have today, 19 year old men who never had the chance to "waste a fiver".
    Never mind, chin up, you poor thing.

  36. Coops - says:

    Pete, I am the TV Editor and this is the TV blog. Here, in this little world of mine, various matters relating to the world of TV are reported on, debated and discussed. Why? Because it was ever thus, that\’s why. And yes, we British are tolerant – take it from a proud sarf Londoner. But can one really boast of tolerance and then not tolerate an opinion or a healthy debate? Hmmmm. With regard to most of what you say about our boys and girls in conflicts past and present, you\’re venting at the wrong person. Number 10 is that way ———-> 

  37. chris says:

    Hi All, being born and bred in the UK, Brum to be exact, I have from birth been trained to look out for rascism. This comes from protective parents – possibly ill informed but paranoid of rascist abuse. Through my career in this country I do not believe that I have ever been held back by my race or creed. I run my own successful company and try to display the same fair treatment I believe I have had. When watching the adverts there is something about them that feels uncomfortable, it is not neccessarily something that can be verbalised but I believe it is something that all should be allowed to communicate freely from all angles. Interestingly, had the same advert been aired in Montego Bay on a sunny afternoon and all locations used been of an afro carribean nature I doubt the advert would have the same uncomfortable reaction fro a black person. Simply, if you take an extreme character of any culture and place it slam bang in the middle of a totally different culture where the extreme is the minority, you run the risk of the character becoming ridiculed. This is where the director – screenwriters have fallen down. A black director I am sure would not have made an ad such as this, reinforcing the commical harmless n****r profile. This is how I feel, if your offended in anyway tough, if I have provoked a second thought – GREAT.

  38. Coops - says:

    Well said coops (funny name)! Well said no name!!!!!! You are on the money. Paul, sorry but what are you going on about? You\’re the one that looks intolerant and sad.

  39. Unknown says:

    Oh, and why does it look like the man in the ad is holding packets of condoms? That\’ll be the chewiest gum he\’s ever had, but the flavours are vile!!!!

  40. Unknown says:

    Aaaargh!! The other ads I mentioned weren\’t for Lilt, they were apparently the Malibu Rum ads.
    "Man, it\’s total gridlock!"

  41. Coops - says:

    Hello (no name) who left a comment here on 19 June at 14:10, you\’ve put some naughty words in your comment and I\’ve had to edit accordingly. Thanks!
    (no name) 19 June 14:10
    (\’ll stand by my comment before where I said that plenty of black lads put on this Caribbean twang despite never having been near the place, and now I have actually watched the ad, doubly so! The bloke sounds no different to any black man in a club, sucking his teeth and calling me a "Rass-clat" (sp?? LOL!), at the end of the day they are both acting. Why is it acceptable for some people to put this on and for no other black people to pull them up and tell them they are t***s. If I broke out into a Welsh accent (like my parents\’) I\’d be laughed out of town, seeing as I was born in the West Midlands and have the accent to boot. I am what I am, no point in trying to put on airs and graces, or accents, whatever, people will soon see through it and think of me to be a shallow person – the sooner some black folk realise this, the sooner they will be respected for who they are, rather than who they think they should be. If they come from Newcastle, Edinburgh, Brum, etc, and speak with the local twang, they are truly part of the community. No use complaining about feeling like an outsider if you are affecting a Jamaican accent in Rhyl! The thing is, if they went to Jamaica, they\’d be given the same raised eyebrow, the real locals would see through them in an instant, so yet again, they are on the edges of society and not fitting in. Possibly the only thing I could find sensitive about the whole advert, and if it was pulled, I suspect it was for the name of the gum – Trident. Innocuous enough, until you remember the name of the police teams acting to curtail the so-called "black-on-black" gun crime issues in London – Operation Trident. I dare say more right-on types got their panties in a bunch because of that than because of a negative image of black folk. To be honest, I would never have even considered it to be insulting, or projecting any stereotypes until you made a fuss. To me it was a boring ad for a crap product.  Coops, were you offended by the Lilt adverts, where the old folk in the Caribbean were acting like commuters in a busy metropolis, telling each other to get a move on etc? At a stretch, I could see that was maybe taking the mickey of those simple "yokel" types, as they obviously have never had to rush about or keep to deadlines in their lives. (Even though the joke\’s on us idiots stressing about all our lives, rather than taking it easy on a sunny Caribbean island. I know where I\’d rather be right now!) You can find offence in anything if you want. I think you should have just written to the makers of the Trident ad and told them it, like their gum, was crap, point made, end of story!

  42. Coops - says:

    (no name) – The Malibu ads taking the mick out of the slow pace of life in the West Indies were hilarious! And so true – whenever I order West Indian food to take away, it feels like ten years has passed before my food is ready. And don\’t get me started on black hairdressers. 🙂 Do you remember the old Lilt adverts? "Lilt with the totally tropical taste!". Those were great ads, weren\’t they? I know some people think that black people can\’t laugh at themselves because of the furore surrounding the Trident adverts, but it\’s not true. You\’ve only got to listen to the likes of Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Gina Yashere, Felix Dexter, Lenny Henry, Eddie Nestor etc. to see that we\’re brutally honest about our failings.

  43. Ayeshah says:

    As a young black woman, I have to say I have always hated that Trident gum advert, not because of any racist connotations but because it just irritated me.  Watching the advert again, I still fail to see what is racist about it.  Maybe I\’m just seriously easy goin\’.

  44. Coops - says:

    Hello Anony Mouse, first things first – the advert was not banned for being \’racist\’ – I cannot emphasise that enough. However, it was found to have breached the ASA\’s broadcasting codes relating to \’harmful stereotypes\’. You can read their findings here.

  45. colin says:

    I don\’t think it is racist as such, just another boring generalisation such as the housewife and her shake\’n\’vac, or the posh twit and his Pimms. However, it is a very poor advert and in this modern, cosmopolitan, exciting Britain, that\’s just plain lazy and certainly won\’t sell gum!

  46. Terri 'LK' says:

    Well, having watched the Trident advert, I have to say … Racist? It depends on your view. Seriously irritating, oh yes. The … \’accent\’ grates down my nerves, and this is rather like watching a particularly badly voice-acted live cartoon. I haven\’t heard any kind of Caribbean accent in the flesh before, and if all Caribbean people spoke like that I\’d be worried (says a Scot who speaks at ninty miles an hour when calm)
    The Malibu adverts were hilarious and \’aw, man, it\’s total gridlock!\’ had me in stitches the first time I saw it. I\’m still trying to figure out what kind of bird that was on the table with the Malibu bottle.
    Since we\’re on stereotypes, what do you think of the Heinz deli mayo advert? Personally, I laughed so hard tears were streaming down my cheeks

  47. Coops - says:

     Coops: MSN TV Editor23 June 14:29
    ( name) who left a comment here on 23 June at 11:22, you can say what you want…..but you can\’t swear. You have been edited accordingly. Maybe I wouldn\’t have had to, in your words, "bring[ing] this s**t up all the time" if the advertising agency hadn\’t come up with such an offensive concept in the first place. Food for thought. 
    (no name)23 June 11:22( people like you that nit pick at this kind of crap that are the true racist.. to most people nowdays this is just a gum advert with a guy with a funny accent init but to you its a racial issue..if people like you stop bringing this s**t up all the time racism will never die 

  48. rachy says:

    ok i dont understand how people could find this offensive or racist?? reading the comments on the official site about why it was banned, i\’m still…(ha?) anyway… i don\’t get how someone with a certain accent is giving a bad sterotype? the advert wasn\’t saying the guy was bad or anything, he just happened to really love trident lol! so you could say a white english guy with an ordinary english accent is racist too? I THINK NOT! people are just so sensitive about the slightest little thing and fail to see that the advert is in fact a joke and is supposed to be taken light-heartidly! i actually loved the advert and i may be the only person to ever say that lol AND PROUD!

  49. Natalie says:

    Well, its a stupid advert but how many times a day are we subjected to other steriotypes that are used in an equally exagerated way. Women in using cleaning products and mums being apparently the only ones who shop at Iceland, that stupidly upper class man in Pimms, the puppets in Dolmio, the depiction of women in lynx. Many of these could be considered as \’harmful steriotypes\’ but no complaints are made because they mainly involve white europeans. I\’ll fight against racism and campaign for human rights any day but I feel making such a big issue from one that seems so small doesn\’t really benefit anyone.

  50. Dan says:

    Slightly off the subject, but strangely related in a discussion on race, is a response to your comment about BB Alex. Personally I think respect is a birthright, but perhaps our actions in life decrease the amount of it we receive (or arguably, should receive).
    On the subject, I didn\’t particularly like the Gum advert because I didn\’t find the concept enthralling or effective – I didn\’t even know it was for Trident. I\’m a little surprised it caused controversy.

  51. Coops - says:

    Thanks for all your comments – let me address them individually……Daniel, I see your point re: respect. However, as applies the likes of BB\’s Alex, no way am I gonna give her respect just because she demands it. Natalie, you are incorrect with an aspect of your argument re: other stereotypes in adverts. You assert that "no complaints are made because they mainly involve white europeans". Wrong. Complaints are made about TV commercials on the grounds of, for example, sexism all the time – I\’ve featured some in my piece on Controversial TV Adverts. However, one reason why you may be unaware of such objections is because the complaints are not upheld. The reason why the Trident adverts have a touch of notoriety about them is because the objections were upheld, the ads were found to have breached serious advertising codes relating to \’harmful stereotypes\’ and they were subsequently banned by the ASA. You conclude: "I feel making such a big issue from one that seems so small doesn\’t really benefit anyone." That\’s your opinion and I thank you for it. egg? – you liked the advert? Good for you. 🙂  Like I said, I recognise that some people were amused by this commercial. All I\’m trying to do is throw some light on why others were far from amused….

  52. Dan says:

    I do understand in what context you\’re applying \’respect\’ regarding Alex. From what I saw of her time in the house she did little to persuade me that she deserved a greater respect than I would grant anyone I didn\’t know, her behaviour at times seemed unnecessarily provocative and disrespectful to the other housemates.
    However, perhaps to clarify my point slightly, I would still afford her some respect (out of humanity) despite her faults – she is a person after all. I would stand by my comment that respect is, and should be, a birthright. Sadly I think popular culture, or some other factor, may be responsible for a dissolution of the humanitarian aspect of it\’s meaning/interpretation.
    And I humbly respect your right to disagree 😉

  53. Unknown says:

    Sorry to say Coops, but having read the blog and some of these comments, if that ad makes your blood boil you should look for another job?
    It\’s not a very clever ad, it is intentionally stereotypical <racially>, that is meant to be it\’s humour<fails>, I don\’t agree that it is \’therefore\’ racist.
    I don\’t feel that \’black ppl\’ are too easily offended, but I sometimes feel that some people, who happen to be both black and white, need to see the wood for the trees, stop hanging labels on things and get some perspective? The majority of black, or Asian people that I know really don\’t care much about issues like this? They view them as a storm in a teacup.
    Ricky Gervais, fairly cleverly, used white \’oblique\’ racism stereotypes in the office in an instance where an Asian guy gets to use the word \’Paki\’ in a case of mistaken identity between he and another Asian guy. It was quite a funny scene, it shows the white (albeit unintentional) racist <Ricky Gervais> as a dummy, we\’re all happy. It\’s still a stereotype? Complain about that? If racism offends you so easily you should get just as upset when a white racist man is portrayed as a fool? For he is just as much of a racial stereotype as your \’open mike\’ fool in the chewing gum advert? Can\’t like one because we laughed and damn the other because the intended humour missed the mark? You can\’t just stand on your \’own\’ side of the fence, racism is 360 degrees.
    Having spent a lifetime vehemently opposed to racism, and all other forms of injustice, I now weary of how much the \’racism\’ tag will be used and abused over what is often a trivial issue. Ending racism was always an unattainable dream. Like ending drug abuse, making the streets safe for women to walk at night. "Come on people, love each other". You can\’t make people like, or love each other if they don\’t want to, you can try to make sure that the law applies equally to everyone, you can try to make sure that people aren\’t particularly disadvantaged, but the world was never particulalrly fair, probably never will be, and quite honestly the \’white male\’ is being castigated so much, the \’laager\’ mentality (Beleagured, not pale beer) will only entrench attitudes among those groups as to drive the divide deeper. I think you see it here with the comments from Darren.
    It\’s a modern trend generally, I fear. People\’s expectation of society is unrealistic.
    I\’ve listened to comments on Question Time and such. I remember one young woman saying "What\’s the government doing, letting these kids bunk off school" A panelist, <correctly> pointed out that it is the parents\’ responsibility to make their kids go to school. She then retorted, "well, why don\’t they teach them DJ\’ing, or something they want to do instead of all the ther cr*p". Well,sadly, unless thereis a dramatic shortage of DJ\’s which I\’m unaware of, the school are trying to prepare them for life, it isn\’t all about having fun. We now have a generation of young people some of whom will refuse quite often well paid work, and choose to hang around, on little money<benefits>, as \’chillin\’ with their mates\’ is more fun. That\’s not a racial issue of course, but an indictment of a society that has raised people to believe that fun transcends being a productive member of society.
    In the same way, the world will not always be the way you would like it to be. You may see something unfunny, dumb, misjudged, like this advert. Just because the guy is black does not make it racist.
    As for Mammy Two Shoes, classic comedy, to my mind. The early cartoons were infinitely superior to the later ones, in style, timing, delivery etc etc. The later ones merely traded off a successful brand. As Oscar Wilde observed, "The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there." The fact that people were displayed in a way that is not deemed acceptable now does not damn their memory. I objected strongly to the Agatha Christie novel \’Ten Little Niggers\’ being renamed \’Ten Little Indians\’. <Let\’s see if THAT gets moderated, eh?> For one thing, the statuettes in question were of Nubian boys. Nubia is part of Egypt. If anything it should have been \’Ten Little Africans\’, but it should of course have been left on the shelves for people to make their own mind up?
    Either they should ban the book or leave it alone. As the book has not even a whiff (apart from the figures described in the title) of racism, I find it hard to see a reason for banning it. Changing it\’s name does not \’unmake\’ history, just like the lies purveyed by white South Africans that no black man lived there before them could change the truth. You can\’t alter history, so why try? Be honest with yourself and others.
    And why is the word \’nigger\’ acceptable for Black men to use, but not whites? The band NWA, began their life as \’Niggers With Attitude"? Is it words or attitudes that change the world? And don\’t tell me one makes the other, because we both know that isn\’t true. We are the children of our parents generally, and will grow up sharing many of their attitudes, until we are old enough to form our own. If we were raised to think, apply thought and feelings, then we will, quite naturally be opposed to racism. You don\’t meet too many intelligent racists, but there are odd exceptions.
    Don\’t let your bllod boil over something as trivial as this?
    It belittles us both.
    There are more important things going on the world. Every day 50,000 children, mostly black, die for the want of clean water or 50p worth of drugs. Let your blood boil over that, if you want a bandwagon, and then try to do somethign about it. If enough of us do, maybe we could get it down to 49,000. Then maybe 48,000 a day. Maybe even one day, 40,000. But we\’ll never end it, so I don\’t pray for that day beacuse I\’d just be kidding myself. I pray that I might make enough of a difference that even if only one small kid, be he black or white, like my little grandson tucked up in his nice warm cot gets to live by my hand rather than die because the west (The black and the white west) didn\’t care enough to save his or her life.
    That\’s an issue worth worrying about. This isn\’t. I\’m not saying we ignore all the small issues and concentrate on the big ones, but get some perspective. This is trivial?

  54. Coops - says:

    Hello (no name); you raise some interesting points and I shall answer them:1. This is a TV blog and as such, I comment on a wide range of matters within the world of TV – good and bad. Rest assured that even if I was cleaning toilets for a living, that Trident advert would\’ve still annoyed me so my chosen career is irrelevant.2. I appreciate that some people regard complaints about the Trident advert (or any other commercial for that matter) as "trivial". Agreed it\’s not an issue of seismic importance compared to global warming, but this is a TV blog and that advert was banned. Therefore, in my little world, it is certainly a matter of debate.3. You ask: "why is the word \’nigger\’ acceptable for Black men to use, but not whites?" Sigh. I really don\’t want to get into a general discussion on the n-word…but whatever gave you (or anyone else) the idea that it\’s \’acceptable\’? Just because a few rappers choose to use it, you interpret this as universal approval? You think Bob Marley would\’ve applauded? Or that Stevie Wonder approves? Or Bill Cosby? Or Barack Obama? Or Lenny Henry? Or Ian Wright? Or Nelson Mandela? Puhleez. Even hip hop pioneer Russell Simmons is leading the charge against it (read more about his campaign here). I happen to be a very proud sarf Londoner and use of the n-word in pop culture is predominantly a black AMERICAN thing anyway – not a black British thing. Secondly, I don\’t like the word irrespective of who uses it – black, white, blue, orange. However, it is true that some oppressed minorities attempt to \’reclaim\’ words that have commonly been used to insult and disparage them – hence useage of the n-word in certain circumstances by certain black people. 4. If you read my blog entry about Tom and Jerry (did you?) – you will see that I have argued that a product of its time should remain unaltered for discerning adults…I will continue to argue for it. I will argue for Tom and Jerry and Tintin In The Congo and Enid Blyton etc. However that Trident advert is not a product of its time in my opinion. It belongs to a bygone era…Thank you very much for your comment.

  55. The says:

    Don\’t normally comment on things like these. But my interest was piqued by having read all the interesting, eloquent and well thought out comments here. I then viewed the advert. I just felt it was a terrible. Nothing to do with racism. It was just terrible. If you ask me that\’s why it should never have been broadcast. The guy didn\’t need to be black, he just was. It was a lazy attempt at humour that really didn\’t work. By the end of it, I was really irritated, only because it was crap though. Can\’t say i found it offensive.

  56. Coops - says:

    (no name) who left a comment here on 28 June 08:18 – glad you\’ve come out to play. 🙂 You are so right – it is a very lazy attempt at humour that backfired. Talking of backfiring, at some point, I say also do the exact same thing with the Heinz mayo ad (the one with the De Niro-type New York deli geezer who gets a smacker from Mr British Average). Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  57. Anita says:

    Hi there
    in all honesty i think todays world has gone pc bonkers yes i understand that somethings needed to be resolved and put in to place yes i agree that more than a few years ago things were said and publicised that shouldnt of been but I have noticed that the racist card (regardless of your back ground or colour) is being used far to frequently as pointed out in a previous comment richard pryor and comedians like him use it to their advantage turn it into humour and regardless of your background we all laugh, it takes a broader mind to see thorough colour and find humour all this generic labelling will be (eventually i feel) the downfall and the splt between ourselves and our fellow personages on this planet. I feel we need to step back and re-evaluate our places on this planet we are all equal and we all have the same goals (family,work,e.t.c) this advert i did not find offensive or funny i just saw it as another tradegy for a product and all i can say to that is maybe if people find these sort of adverts  hard to stomach look at the world around you people talk like that guy every day of the week we all are different in some ways but we are the same in so many more ways. Stop pointing out the the things that make us different and seggrogating yourselves and start trying to see past colour the days have long past for segregation (excuse spelling 😦 ) we are supposed to be a world of people attempting to live in harmony and peace If we keep pulling the racist or colour card every 5 minutes its just going to make the divide harder to bridge. I mean come on how many people in school sang baa baa black sheep now this is banned as well ?????? Please stop and think about the divide being caused and look past colour and race and see people for who they really are.

  58. Unknown says:

    Hello again Coops, mine was the war and peace length point yesterday. I meant to say \’accepted\’ rather than \’acceptable\’ with regard to the word \’nigger\’, and I\’ll accept its use is much more prevalent in US culture, and I\’m not suggesting for a moment that it\’s a word in univesal use, but I do believe that much of youth culture is swinging toward US culture, (Your own \’This week I\’m loving\’ kind of comment for example?) but that black male youth culture, particulalrly on the whole weapons issue is very heavily influenced by preceptions of US \’ street culture\’ as it\’s rather amusingly referred to. I have heard it\’s use by young black men very often when drinking in certain quarters. The point I\’m making is that post 9pm, a great many offensive words are used, including the previously \’sacrosanct\’ C-word, but nobody really reacts any more. A black man or woman can say \’nigger\’, but were a white man or woman to do so, the sky will fall in, metaphorically.
    The point I was really making was that the world isn\’t perfect, so does something need banning because you don\’t happen to like it? I\’d like to go back to the days where language was moderated far more on TV (Or maybe a later watershed), as if nothing else much of the language used just demonstrates a lack of what used to be described as \’class\’. (Interesting that in BB1, very little swearing by comparison? People\’s perception of what was \’acceptable\’ has changed much in the meantime, or seems to have?) I don\’t want to hear certain words said on TV, but no weight will be given to my opinion? IS that so different to you not wanting to hear the word \’nigger\’ used?
    Did you find Ali G funny, in the beginning? (I know most people got sick of the absolute overkill) That\’s a genuine question, I\’m not trying to score points, as obviously it was entirely based upon a white man mocking a black stereotypical character. A white Jewish man, come to that.
    I had read your blog re Tom and Jerry, and was agreeing with you, though maybe I hadn\’t made that clear. I do kind of object to Whoopi Goldberg coming on first to say \’this is how things were but not any more\’ or whatever, as I feel it\’s rather patronising and unlikely to have any effect whatsoever other than negative. Racism, if it does indeed one day slowly wither on vine will die through education of the masses rather than facile comments, however well-intentioned. I hope it does, but I\’m afraid my faith in human nature has become slightly more jauniced as the years go on. Uncle Bob Mugabe\’s election this week leaves me in despair. A shame there\’s no oil under Zimbabwe, or we could have (With our special friends) done another sterling job there in bringing peace and stability to a former dictatorship. But there I go off rambling again…….

  59. Coops - says:

    Hello (no name) who left a comment at 14:44, as I\’ve stated previously, I do agree that political correctness verges on the ridiculous at times. Honestly, some of the initiatives make me cringe. Thanks for your comment.(no name) who left a message at 18:05, don\’t worry about the length of any comments – it\’s the content that counts. 😉  Funnily enough, letting you all know what I\’m mostly lovin\’ came from our very own superb sketch series, The Fast Show – so there you have it. Nothing to do with the USA at all. And Ali G? Loved him. Thought the character was hilarious and the satire was spot on. With regard to the Trident advert, TV commercials aren\’t banned merely because we \’don\’t like them\’. I can\’t stand the Clearasil advert with the girl saying "You should see me now" when her mum talks about her naked baby pictures (very unsettling), but that isn\’t banned. Why? Because it hasn\’t breached broadcasting codes. The ASA has rules – the Trident advert wouldn\’t have been judged as unfit for broadcast if the client had adhered to them. You pays your money, you takes yer chances…

  60. amelia says:

    im not sure if its just me but i found the slogan/moto rather offensive if it was misconstruded!
    however i agree it is a utterly stupid advert and the only thing it sells to me is the big mega phone thingy as that would be rather fun. however i have yet to decide whether it does question steroetype obviously people thinks it does and fair enough but i do believe that as a nation we shouldn\’t have to look at an advert and think, \’\’oh my is this steroetyping black people\’\’ we are a nation of many cultures and i think as micheal jackson says; \’\’it don\’t matter if your black or white\’\’ and going off the point, i was wondering how you did feel about the, deli mayo advert personally again, it shouldnt matter that a man is kissing another man but i can see why some people may find this a bit \’odd\’ too but again personally, one word, hilarious! thank you
    Mia xx 

  61. Peter says:

    I\’m not exactly a journalist, so who am I to say, but in this article you featured the quotation "Would you
    like me to get you a peice [sic] of fish, for the chips on your
    shoulder. Pulling the \’race card\’. How original. Im [sic] actually
    black myself, and I nor anyone I know found that offensive. All idiots
    like you acheive [sic] by playing the \’its so offensive and racist\’
    card is an even worse sterotype [sic] that we all out to claim the
    white man is victimising us yet again. Grow up, your [sic] pathetic."I find it curious that you would actually correct something – wrongly. "Grow up, your [sic] pathetic" should, in proper Engish at least be, "Grow up, you\’re [sic] pathetic."  I would be careful before editing another man\’s mistakes wrongly in the future.  It seems a bit bad to me.By  the way, I would argue this advert was not racist, for portraying an aspect of black culture is not racist at all but rather a way of spreading empathy. Still, the advert itself  is appaling.

  62. Coops - says:

    Hello all! amelia, I will definitely invite users to debate the merits of the Heinz deli advert soon. Stay tuned… Peter, the use of the word sic indicates that I have quoted the contents verbatim – including the horrendous spelling and grammar. So thank you for taking me to task – even if you were mistaken on this occasion. 🙂

  63. Unknown says:

    To no name who left a message 27 June, 21.05.  "The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there." Leslie Poles Hartley, opening line to "The Go Between".  Not Oscar Wilde.

  64. Rich says:

    hmmmm. If that stereotype is deemed "harmful", maybe it\’s time we banned Hugh Grant films for portraying a harmful stereotype of  white englishmen.  

  65. Andy says:

    Aw comon! the advert aint racist-it\’s just bad!-other than the fact that I personally could not understand one solitary word of what the guy was saying-(and thats coming from a Glasgow Scot)-it was just stupid.I think I\’ll play the racist card the next time someone on tv makes fun of Scots accents-(if I hear "see you Jimmy once more"—–)are we going to get so impossibly PC that regional racism is going to be the next thing?- If the PC tree huggers who shout racist about every single thing on tv keep on at it,shortly ther won\’t be anything on the screens to watch!-as comedians keep pointing out now-the biggest butt of jokes now are against white straight able bodied British people-we can\’t shout anything!

  66. Coops - says:

    Richard, I thank you for your comment below (slightly edited to launch the Avenue Q song in another window). I especially thank you for this: "If we truly did live in a racist society, would a global organistaion like MSN hire a well educated, successful and attractive blog editor such as yourself, who also happens to be black?" What can I say to that? Ta very much mate! But back to the subject of the Trident advert, I appreciate that some will never understand why hundreds of people like me felt the need to officially object to this commercial. My intention was to throw a little light on why I complained because MSN users asked for an explanation. I keep trying to watch it – and each time I have to turn it off in disgust. That\’s just me obviously. Please bear in mind everyone that the advert has not been officially deemed \’racist\’ – and I have never used that word to describe it as such. It was banned for breaching codes relating to \’harmful stereotypes\’ and what I personally objected to is the minstrel-isation of the leading actor. That\’s what I see when I watch this advert; other people just see a silly man with a stoooopid accent (probably). Did you know that a group of Italian Americans filed a law suit against the makers of The Sopranos claiming that it has an offensive portrayal of Italians? Read all about it here. I\’m a huge Sopranos fan – loved that show. And that leads me nicely to the Heinz deli advert with the Robert De Niroish geezer giving a smacker to Mr Average UK. I will definitely invite views on that advert soon. Thanks again.  
    Richard04 July 12:23I\’m afraid in this case I agree with the majority of these comments Coops…most of which, I assume were left by white people…like me. Perhaps it\’s because we haven\’t had to grow up in a society where judgements are made of us based on attitudes formed from the historical images you have included in the montage. That said, I have ginger hair and it has taken me many years to accept this part of my colouring and be proud about it. Obviously \’gingerism\’ is never going to be as serious as full blown racism, nevertheless, I have experienced bullying due to my natural skin and hair colour, yet I can still appreciate the humour in carrot-based jokes.  I think this advert is just bad. I don\’t see the issue with it being a black comedian…I\’m sorry, but I don\’t understand your offence to it. If he had been performing, taken some Trident and then been taken out back to be hanged from a tree, then yeah, I\’d have complained too, but in this case I think the racist card has been a little too quickly pulled out. Same with the Heinz advert. It is a mildly amusing advert and only the most ignorant of people will fail to see very quickly that the man playing \’mum\’ is a depiction of how she feels sometimes when her kids are shouting the lunch orders to her. If the Deli-guy had been substituted for a \’Mammy Twoshoes\’ character, again, I could understand the need to complain and would probably have been the first to do so.  I wonder if you have seen the excellent musical Avenue Q? There is a song in it about racism. (I\’ll paste the link at the bottom if that\’s ok). Basically the song is about being racist is being human. We are all different colours, so why can\’t we relax about it in a society where everyone\’s personal freedoms are protected by law? It says that everyone is racist sometimes but it doesn\’t mean that we go around commmitting hate crimes – but it also says that bigotry has never been exclusively white (sung by a black character). And some of the other posters on here have touched on it too. Black comedians like Richard Pryor and Whoopi Goldberg (love her!) have made equally as upsetting jokes from the other side of the fence, so to speak, yet the white man feels bad complaining about it – probably due to the historical atrocities his ancestors committed against black people. There is a line in Ghost where Whoopi\’s character says something like "I knew it. I\’m being haunted by a white guy. Great. Why me?!" which is an intentionally racist jibe. Do I think it should be cut out of the film? No! It\’s funny. Political Correctness is there for a reason, however, taken to it\’s extremes as in the case of the Trident advert, it\’s power will be diminished. If we truly did live in a racist society, would a global organistaion like MSN hire a well educated, successful and attractive blog editor such as yourself, who also happens to be black?  Youtube link to Avenue Q song:

  67. Richard says:

    Hey again…no worries re the comment! I love reading your blog! 😉 Did you like the Avenue Q song then? It illustrates my point exactly. We live in a world where everyone is waaaaaaaay too touchy about offending people and being offended by people. People, me included, need to relax a bit re the whole PC affair. For you, the guy is \’minstrelised\’, for me he\’s just a poor stereotype of a Carribean Londoner. Those Lilt ladies got on my nerves too. But I guess for different reasons to other people who have suffered racism. As for complaining about The Sopranos…!!! I would be more inclined to complain against the glamourisation of assassination (have you seen the film Wanted?!?!) – especially in the culture we live in today where it is not safe for teenagers to walk down the street without fearing for their lives. I look forward to reading the blog on the Heinz ad, because, believe me, I have a lot to say on that one too!! 😉

  68. Clara says:

    Right people, i might not have read this properly and got the wrong end of the stick but i\’m making a stand about the race thing.
    I\’m white and my friend is half black. She told me that at school people called her bounty because she\’s black on the outside, white on the inside, which i think is completely wrong and unfair.
    I\’m not on the "white side" and i\’m toally not racist at all but from my point of view, if you live somewhere where there aren\’t alot of black people, most of the black people WILL take offence against anything you say about the race, my friend did but there were a few occations where she wasn\’t doing anything wrong and was riddiculled because of her colour, i saw it with my own eyes.
    Sometimes if there was someone even giving her the slightest wierd look she would say it\’s because of her colour but nobody could say anything because it would\’ve been wrong. I hope and pray she still doesn\’t think like this.
    Some people just take things WAY too far and it\’s about time that people looked beyond colour and race and actually started to get along with each other, you could even make alot more friends.
    The world has gone PC mad and i for one think it\’s completely stupid, for example you can\’t even say nursery rhymes how they used to be said, e.g. it\’s now baa baa rainbow sheep as it\’s ofensive to black people. the black people i\’ve spoken to about this think it\’s completely stupid also and don\’t think it should be changed either, there are more but i won\’t go on about it
    I just think it\’s all gone mad and it\’ll probably get worse until people actually start making stands and unite as one to stop the madness!!!

  69. Coops - says:

    C and Richard thanks for your comments. C, ah yes, the \’Bounty\’ thing. Memories; I was called that at school too by other black kids. And all because my mother taught me good manners. In order to make your comment topical C (because this discussion has been prompted by a TV advert), I will say this: for some, my objection to the Trident advert has fallen into what you\’re ranting about – political correctness. I get very annoyed by some PC initiatives myself (Baa Baa \’Rainbow\’ Sheep – ludicrous) but I honestly don\’t think I\’m being PC about this. There are times when stereotypes must be employed in order to sell a product – they\’ve only got 30 seconds after all. Thus, if an easily identifiable character is presented to the audience, the story can move forward at a quicker pace. Take the (truly dreadful) Dolmio adverts as an example – the product itself is about as authentically Italian as I am (the UK sauces are made in Holland). In truth, I cringe every time they air – and I\’m a Londoner of West Indian descent. The accents sound about as convincing as an honest expense claim by a politician. Correct me if I\’m wrong, but the voiceover artists aren\’t even Italian, are they? Although woefully bad, the stereotype presented isn\’t a negative or \’harmful\’ one (it\’s all about family life etc). It\’s a totally different story with the Trident advert where the stereotype presented clearly breaches rules by The ASA.Richard – love Avenue Q. The song is hilarious….and soooooo true.

  70. sue says:

    With this advert I do not think it matters whether the person is black of white, it is just an awful advert and would certainly make me avoid this product.

  71. Coops - says:

    Hello Barry: thank you for your comment about the Trident ads and my Tom and Jerry piece – very well put. Hope you\’ll be back here when we look at the Heinz deli fiasco. I\’ve edited your comment so that I can launch the spoof Dolmio adverts in another window. Cheers mate
    Barry07 July 16:38( there, I have just came across your blog and have read a variety of the comments posted regarding the \’Trident\’ ad and \’Leave Tom and Jerry Alone\’.  Some of the sentiments expressed were very well thought and and put across excellent points.  I for one am not an avid TV watcher these days (I prefer a good book and a pint in the pub) but I just felt I had to leave a comment. Having now watched the \’Trident\’ ad, I am also missing where this has a racist slant.  I have to agree that it is more stereotypical, (but more so just extremely awful and as an inducement to buy the product I\’ll stick to Extra thanks:o))  Now I will make my apologies for possibly mis-understanding what a stereotype may be, but I have never understood (or maybe that should be accepted?) it to mean being racist.  To my mind a stereotype depicts an exaggerated \’character\’ of a particular place or group, used mainly for humourous effect, and in my opinion that is where this advert aims but misses.  The \’Lilt\’ ladies were previously mentioned, but these were very popular ads but still in a stereotypical fashion.  I can liken it to the recently re-aired ad for wine gums (…juice loose aboot this hoose) with (or one of) the stereotyped style of scotsman dressed in kilt, tweeds and a tartan bunnet.  Should that also be construed as racist and/or insensitive against us Scots or taken in a light-hearted humourous manner intended to make us buy the product?  Can I ask for your views of that particular ad?  I really think the \’Trident\’ ad offends more because it is unfunny and uninspiring. Carrying on to \’Leave Tom and Jerry Alone\’ I grew up watching these two and never once was I under the impression that the housekeepers\’ portrayal would cause offence (was this naivety or innocence?)  Indeed, I have only just learned that \’Mammy Two Shoes\’ was that characters name through your blog!  I may be mistaken but I thought that T&J was taken off air because of the violent content, (as was parodied in an episode of \’The Simpsons – Itchy and Scratchy\’), or was it a combination of reasons? I totally agree with you that these cartoons should still be made available in their full, uncut, versions.  If not will we then see films such as \’Dumbo\’ and the scenes featuring the \’minstrel-esk\’ crows re-edited and removed?  Personally, as a fully fledged member of the \’ginger\’ club, along with being scottish, gay and 40, I can relate to many aspects of stereotyping.  I\’m not fiery tempered, sharp-tongued or deathly pale (though I do have freckles).  I am not a fat, alcoholic, wife-beating, fried mars-bars eating, swearing nutcase.  I do not \’mince\’ when I walk, squeal when I talk nor wear make-up or dresses and I have a long way to go before I collect my pension!  Over the years I have been subjected to various ridicule for all of the above, but I have learnt not to let it cause me anguish or offence.  I do understand though that there is a line to be drawn between humourist comment and opinion and extreme abuse and attack. Finally, I just want to know this…if Baa Baa \’Black\’ Sheep is now Baa Baa \’Rainbow\’ Sheep does that mean its been adopted by the gay community? :¬)  and in reference to the Dolmio ads try out the dubbed Glasgow versions.  Warning though they do contain quite a bit of swearing…(link here)   Cheers, Baz 

  72. Coops - says:

    Barry, just to clarify – the ASA banned the Trident ads on the grounds that it breached codes relating to \’harmful stereotypes\’. I haven\’t said the ad is \’racist\’ and I don\’t want anyone thinking that I\’m labelling it as such. 
    You asked for my view on the Maynards wine gums commercial ("…juice loose aboot this hoose"). Of course there are times when stereotypes must be employed, as I\’ve stated below so yes, that wine gums ad is a daft, stereotypical presentation of Scots: but is it \’harmful\’? Well, it hasn\’t suffered the same fate as the Trident ad, therefore it\’s fit for broadcast. It isn\’t uncommon for TV commercials to employ gentle, humorous stereotypes/caricatures of black people – these adverts pass by with nary a ripple. But the Trident advert got it very wrong and that\’s the pertinent point.

  73. Baz says:

    Hi Coops, totally understand you yourself did not class the ad racist, and it was banned by the ASA, but doesn\’t \’harmful stereotypying\’ border on that? (again I realise this was not your term of phrase.) 
    I still really can\’t figure where the stereotyping is harmful in the \’Trident\’ ad, but not in the \’Maynard\’ ad.  The \’Trident\’ ad did not attempt to incite racial intolerance or discrimination, although it may be seen to be patronising or demeaning.  I then wonder how this could have passed the BACC codes?  I can only conclude that it is in our own perception of the meaning it was intended which, by the adjudication comments, did not come across to quite a few of the complainents.  I\’m sure if enough viewers had complained about the latter it too would have been banned for the same reasons.  Wouldn\’t it?   Anyway, sometimes I wonder if we look to closely at too much for a harm that is not actually there.
    Well I haven\’t yet saw the Heinz deli ad, but i\’m sure i\’ll find it on the net somewhere.  Looking forward to your blog on that one.
    Cheers, Baz.

  74. Coops - says:

    Barry – you make a damn good point with your Maynards/Trident comparision; very thought-provoking. Hope I do the Heinz Deli ads justice now! 🙂

  75. Alpha says:

    i have played it again and again, i see it as a comedian who acts sort of loud and funny in his normal act, but the product makes him even more passionate, i can see that it could be seen as offensive, but really not in any extreme kind of way, a poor advert at best, stereotype ads can be offensive but as this one was withdrawn i see no problem, i must admit i find it annoying when the benefit fraud adverts appear on tv, and everyone in it is white, like only white people commit benefit fraud, i know those adverts were complained about too, but were not withdrawn, i am a mix race so i often see both point of view, seems to me we can all always find something to complain about if we look hard enough

  76. Andrew says:

    Dreadful advert, embarrassing to watch as a 50 year old white male, my kids also thought it "stupid". I cant imagine how ridiculous it must have seemed to a black person? So many adverts are just nauseatingly, excruciatingly, embarrassing. I will NEVER buy their products, and perhaps like many now, I use my sky plus and record everything I wish to see, primarily so I skip through the bloody awful adverts!

  77. aj says:

    the opinons of the article writer are, in my opinion. embarassing.

  78. michael says:

    This whole board reminds me of an episode of South Park where at the end they realise that as white people they would never understand what racism feels like and how we notice things differently.Having said that I still cant believe that people can\’t see the negative stereotype in the advert, especially as you\’ve put the other clip to show your point. Basically to those who don\’t get it, it harks back to a period of time when black people where treated as sub human and the only representation of them in the media was either as savage brutes, or this type of foolish buffoon. Therefore seeing a black man portrayed in this way brings up feeling of blacks being seen as lesser, or just as a form of comic relief. The nearest example I can use is if they used a Nazi officer to sell a product, I know its not as a severe as that, but that\’s the nearest example I can use, as it too would bring memories of a time when certain were just seen as inferior to another people "just because their different".I dunno if this will allow other people to see the problems with the advert but i argee with you coops and definately dont think your being over politically correct.

  79. Coops - says:

    (no name) – thank you for your comment. You are spot on. I didn\’t make my complaint lightly; I tried to watch the advert on numerous occasions, agonising over whether I was being overly sensitive. However, generations of friends and family affronted by this advert convinced me otherwise. I will invite opinions on the Heinz Deli ads soon. Hope you\’re around for that….

  80. Carol says:

    I think  the point a lot of people here are missing is that the representation of black people is often made by white people and this is what causes a problem the majority of times. A stereotype of any person made by people from that group is often accepted by that group. The dominant race often put their perspective across and in doing so get it wrong. A comment was made about Hugh Grant and the English stereotype, which is accepted by whites it seems. However If the white male stereotype was created by black South African women then we would see a rapist-farmer, with a morbid fear of black male virility. Black people mostly accept Eddie Murphy\’s black stereotyping but we will always find it hard to be told what we must accept from white people when they create and present a black stereotype.

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