Twinings cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority

02 April 2008
Twinings cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority

Twinings has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority of playing on negative racial stereotypes.

The ASA received a complaint about recent television advertisements for Lady Grey and Earl Grey tea, from a woman viewer who complained that the advertising suggested that black men were sexually promiscuous and existed to provide sexual services for white women.

In the commercial, the black man, writes a message on a noticeboard informing customers that the drink "puts the zing in your ding-a-ling". In the dialogue, actor Stephen Fry said that the tea could be "felt, deep down". The black assistant replies "In your ding-a-ling?"

The makers of the commercial said they believed the innuendo to be no worse than in a Carry On film.

The ASA said: "We acknowledged the innuendo was mildly sexual, but we did not consider that it was reliant on the young man's ethnic origins or a racial stereotype. We concluded that the ads were not harmful or likely to cause offence to most viewers."

By Ian Broughton

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