ASA set to investigate 'racist' Trident chewing gum ad

09 March, 2007

Laura Clark

A high profile chewing gum ad has been branded racist by almost 100 TV viewers, sparking an investigation by advertising watchdogs.

The ads for Cadbury Schweppes' Trident chewing gum feature a Jamaican stand-up comic on a one-man crusade to promote "Mastication for the Nation". He is shown bursting out of a theatre shouting "me taste buds is flooding", and the ad ends with the comedian floating down the Thames on a barge using a megaphone to promote his message .

A spokesman from the Advertising Standards Authority said the watchdog had received 99 complaints that the ad mocks the Jamaican accent.

"We will be launching a formal investigation following complaints that the ad is racist and portrays a negative stereotype of Afro-Caribbean people," he said. The ASA could ban the ads if they are in breach of advertising codes.

Confectionery giant Cadbury launched the Trident brand in the UK in February, sparking a so-called chewing gum war with market leader Wrigley.

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