We said it was brave and now Nando’s in South Africa has decided it’s not quite brave enough to continue with its controversial “last dictator standing’ ad featuring Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.
Nando’s says it has pulled the ad after it provoked “perceived threats against its Zimbabwean management, staff and customers.” Nando’s marketing director Quinton Cronje elaborated: “The words that we kind of heard coming out of Zimbabwe that disturbed us were youth, militant youth, boycotting, and when you hear that kind of language in a volatile economy and political environment you kind of escalate your concern to a different level.”
The ad featured a bereft Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe president, recalling supposedly happier times when he could cavort with dictator chums Colonel Gaddafi, Chairman Mao, Saddam Hussein and late South African president PW Botha. The ad ran on South African TV but was show all over the continent on cable and satellite channels with nearly one million hits on YouTube.
It was always going to cause a huge stink in Zimbabwe but also in the rather larger South Africa which is Zimbabwe’s neighbour and as close to a friend as Zimbabwe has in Africa.