M&C Saatchi TV ad to tackle football racism

The campaign to drive out racism in football is moving to TV for

the first time.

M&C Saatchi has produced a commercial which will carry the "Kick it out"

message beyond its usual media of poster sites near football grounds and

ads in match programmes to a wider audience.

It comes as the game continues to be dogged by allegations of


There are just two black managers among the 92 English league clubs and

Paul Ince, England's first black captain, claims racism in the game is


The campaign, due to run on satellite TV from Christmas Day, aims to

make viewers question their attitude to racial stereotyping.

The move marks an intensification of activity by the Kick it out

campaign since its foundation four years ago by the Professional

Footballers' Association and the Commission for Racial Equality.

The commercial is constructed around a poem called Dear White Fella,

which is narrated by its author, Benjamin Zephaniah, and looks at the

issue of colour from a black person's perspective.

The film follows the life-stages of a football-loving black person from

babyhood to the moment his ashes are scattered on the pitch of his


The poem makes the point that black skin remains black whatever the


This contrasts with scenes showing a white person while the poem points

out that his skin changes colour when he is cold, sick or sunburned.

"And you have the cheek to call me coloured," the poet concludes as the

"Let's kick racism out of football" endline appears.

The commercial was written by Clive Yaxley, art directed by Jerry

Gallaher and directed by Chris Palmer through Gorgeous. Media is being

bought by Carat.

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