Naomi Campbell is threatening to sue Cadbury after the company used her name to promote its Bliss chocolate bar in a new advertising campaign.
The Cadbury ad features a chocolate bar poised on a pile of sparkling diamonds with the tag-line: "Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town" -- which pokes fun of the fact that the supermodel is known for being a self-absorbed diva (not to mention notoriously angry and difficult). Campbell for her part is none too happy about being likened to a chocolate bar and claims the advisement is "racist."
She's certainly not doing anything to help that reputation of hers ...
Here's Campbell's reaction to the ad:
I am shocked. It's upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humour in this. It is insulting and hurtful.
It's pretty clear what's happening here. Campbell is pissed because a company is trying to cash in on her name and reputation while depicting her in a negative light. And so she's claiming racism and causing a row in an effort to draw as much attention as possible to the ad. And guess what? It's working. Several black rights groups are backing her up and some are even calling for a boycott of the company.
Campbell is correct that this ad is problematic: It uses her name without her permission. And, it uses it in an insulting and hurtful way -- not because it's racist -- but because it's calling her out for being a diva. The good news for Campbell, of course, is that this is certainly grounds for a lawsuit. But did Cadbury deliberately liken her to a chocolate bar because she is a black woman? Nah, I'm not buying it.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you or I or even Cadbury think the ad is racist or not. What matters is that the person being depicted in the ad -- however vaguely -- thinks it is. And in this case, she most certainly does. I say, the company should apologize and make an effort to be more aware and sensitive in the future (and, in the meantime, it wouldn't hurt Campbell to work on softening that image just a bit).