Peachmobile Zim Zoo ad gets banned by the ASA for "lowering Robert Mugabe's dignity"


You'd think it couldn't be done, the "Lowering of dignity" bit that is, but the annoying ringtone with the equally annoying ad from Peach mobile which shows president Robert Mugabe as a caged gorilla has been canned. Peachmobile protested, saying that they had a constitutional "right to mock Mugabe because he is a despot." (From The Times: ‘Racist’ ringtone advert banned)

The ASA found, "... the respondent is infringing on the rights of Robert Mugabe by portraying him in an offensive an undignified manner and as such the commercial is demeaning and lowering Robert Mugabe's dignity. A hypothetical reasonable person would be offended on viewing the commercial as it unnecessarily and intentionally demeans Robert Mugabe."

The ASA ordered that the commercial be withdrawn immediately.

More from the Times that shows some people didn't want to - and refused - to run the ad in the first place:

The advert shows Mugabe’s face superimposed on a gorilla’s body.
He sits in a cage at the “Zim Zoo” wearing pink sunglasses and holding a sign that says “Keep me in”.
Then a woman is heard screaming: “Hey wena, hey wena , answer.” Mugabe then sings: “Hey robber Mugabe, you rob-a my country, you rob-a the money, you rob-a the people,” with engorged eyes.
Vasili Vass, the head of publicity at, said that the channel did not show the advertisement.
“The channel decided not to run the advertisement because it was poking fun at a political figure during a sensitive election period.”

David Trope, Peachmobile’s managing director, refused to comment.
But Phil Hollis, music producer for the advert, said: “It’s a joke. I don’t think it’s racist, why would it be?
“This was done for the Zimbabwean people in this country and I think the world realises this.”

In the rest of the world, it's in the middle of a "sensitive election period" we heartily mock the politicians. ;)

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (2)

  • Neaner's picture

    They can't be serious. Demeaning to Robert Mugabe? If anyone was ever worth mocking, it's him.

    That tune is annoyingly infectious, I want it as a ringtone.

    Jul 09, 2008
  • Neo's picture

    The ASA really need to quit embarrassing themselves with their inconsistent and ridiculous rulings.

    Jul 14, 2008

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