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GB Glace launched a new flavor of a classic ice-cream the other week, and were promptly accused of racism.
The ice-creams unfortunate name is "Nogger Black" as it is a liquorice flavored version of the classic nougat-flavored "Nogger".
A couple of years ago they made a liquorice version of the 88. It had a crunchy outside, liquorice and vanilla inside and was really quite good. However, it failed to become popular and was discontinued. This year GB decided to try their luck with a liquorice version of another classic ice-cream, the nougat covered vanilla and then soft nougat center ice-cream called Nogger.
Their first mistake was to make the outside salt liquorice... Ugh! I don't think this one will be as popular as the liquorice 88, but I might be wrong.
Their second mistake was to name it Nogger Black.
My guess is that with a name like that - which has an English word in it - someone was bound to recognize that if one replaces the "o" in Nogger with another vowel...... You could spell out a word considered quite nasty in English and not used at all, unless you are a rapper.
I don't know what was wrong with the 100% Swedish language names like "Nogger lakrits" or perhaps "Nogger svart", but they were clearly rejected in favor of the cooler-sounding "Nogger Black" which is getting GB into deep deep trouble.
Soon the Ice cream giant was slammed for "racist" ads as the Center Against Racism issued a press release denouncing the new ice-cream. Perhaps the Center Against Racism has very little to do.
"We're not critical of the color of the ice cream or the name 'Black' but the whole concept of the advertisement," said Amina Ek of the Center Against Racism to Svenska Dagbladet.
The ad itself features a heart drawn in white 'chalk' on a blackboard type background with the words "Nogger + lakrits = sant!" (Nogger + liquorice = true) inside, mimicking the hearts drawn by young couples everywhere.
I've tried really hard to figure out what is offensive about this ads "whole concept", shown below. Remember it's not the color of the licorice, nor is it the name that offends according to Ms Ek's quote above. Hmmm.
No sooner had the storm over the licorice Nogger calmed down when the Anti Discrimination Bureau in Malmö Aftonbladet (Swedish only) decided to up the ante and attack the classic GB ice-cream called "88" because it is clearly connected to Nazis.
See, "88" stands for "Heil Hitler" in modern Nazi-parlance apparently, as "H" is the 8th letter of the alphabet.
Nevermind that the 88 ice-cream is much older than the newly invented code-language for Nazis, and nevermind that hardly anyone knows the 88 code unless they are a modern Nazi (not even the English version of the Wikipedia does, though the Swedish version does).
According to a spokesperson from GB the 88 first appeared way back in 1964. Right, so now I'm confused... If the old 88:an is a Nazi ice-cream, and Nogger Black is a racist ice-cream what did last years licorice 88 really mean?
In 1975 88:an was joined by a strawberry-flavored friend, called 89:an. The 89 wasn't quite as popular and was discontinued a couple of years later.
"Nogger" a hip 70s slang way of saying "nougat" appeared in 1978 and has been a fail-safe summer ice-cream hit ever since. The Nogger features a crispy nougat outside, vanilla ice-cream inside and a soft nougat center that melts in your mouth.
Now considered a classic, the Nogger is not likely to be discontinued.