(NNPA)—The South African charity Feed a Child (http://www.feedachild.co.za/) chose to highlight child poverty in South Africa by portraying a little Black boy being fed like a dog by a seemingly affluent White woman. In the ad, the boy has his head on the woman’s lap, at her feet, on his knees, and licking off her fingers. The point, they say? According to the ad’s tagline “The average dog eats better than millions of children.”
The ad ran for about five days in South Africa and its airing generated such a maelstrom. Feed a Child withdrew the ad and “unreservedly” issued an apology. Ogilvy and Mather, the international agency that produced the ad, also apologized “unreservedly. In her apology, Alza Rautenbach says, “Like a child, I don’t see race or politics — the only thing that is important to me is to make a difference in a child’s life and to make sure that that child is fed on a daily basis.”
I wonder exactly how long this woman has been living in South Africa, considering she “doesn’t see race.” While the institution of apartheid no longer exists, the structural basis for apartheid is alive and well, given the level of poverty, the lack of jobs, and limited opportunities for education. Either Ms. Rautenbach and her Ogilvy and Mather colleagues have their heads in the sand, or they are being disingenuous.