In its ruling, the ARB argued that colonialism in Africa was “traumatic”, “cannot be trivialised in any manner” and is “not open for humorous exploitation”.
“While the commercial seeks to turn the colonisation story on its head with Big John travelling to Europe, it is well-known that many Africans were in fact forced to travel to Europe in the course of the colonisation of Africa. They did not leave their countries and villages wilfully. They starved to death during those trips to Europe and arrived there under harsh and inhumane conditions.
“Atrocities suffered by Africans under colonisation are well-documented and the legacy thereof continues to exist to date,” said the ARB.
“The fact that the commercial is far-fetched and over-the-top does not nullify the potential offence.”
Chicken Licken has disagreed with the ruling, however.
“The commercial stems to show South Africans that Chicken Licken believes this country has all the potential to conquer the world and rewrite history from an African perspective,” said the company.
“Its tongue-in-cheek sense of humour is a tone that consumers have come to expect, but its communication’s underlying purpose is to create a sense of pride and patriotism amongst South Africans.”