CAMPAIGN DIARY: I’M ONLY A PUNTER BUT ..

I’m a tad confused by the latest furore over racism in ads. Since when has not having a black man in a commercial been an act of racism?

I’m a tad confused by the latest furore over racism in ads. Since

when has not having a black man in a commercial been an act of

racism?



I think someone has seriously over-reacted to Ford’s Full Monty-inspired

spot not having a black person in it when the film did. I saw this ad

when visiting my parents in the North. Not only was it funny but, as far

as I could tell, it was a story of four strippers emulating the guys

from the Full Monty - and not a pastiche of the film. Had it been,

surely Robert Carlyle would have been in the ad, along with the older

guy and the two homosexuals?



No-one from either Age Concern or a gay rights body has complained about

the exclusion of these characters. Has Robert Carlyle been on the phone

to Ogilvy & Mather, complaining he’s not in the commercial? It’s

unlikely.



I’m all for equal opportunities in advertising, but aren’t we

overstepping the mark? Certainly, if a commercial depicts an ethnic

minority in a degrading or insulting manner, the public is quite right

to react with outrage.



Merely filming a commercial without an ethnic minority in it is as much

a racist act as Cyril Smith was a championship hang-glider.



It seems only one complaint about the spot has been received. If one

person disagrees with a penalty at a football match, does the referee

cancel his decision?



Surely, in this instance, someone is using the smokescreen of race

relations to disguise a severe bout of sour grapes. Could it be a rival

dealer, perhaps? Almost certainly. It is the misuse of a moral issue

that is attracting headlines, when the moral issue itself is what should

be addressed. The abusers should be hunted down and publicly flogged,

before they spoil it for everyone.



Send your rants to Diary Editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London

W6 7JP.



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