KRAFT Foods-owned UK chocolate maker Cadbury apologised yesterday to supermodel Naomi Campbell after she claimed that one of its advertising campaigns was racist.
Campbell – famed for her diva-like tendencies – suggested last week that she might sue the company and was “considering every option available” after her name was used to promote Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss bars.
The ad, which appeared on billboards and in magazines, featured a Bliss bar on a mound of diamonds, with the slogan “Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town,” in an apparent reference to Campbell receiving so-called blood diamonds from the then-Liberian leader Charles Taylor in 1997.
The supermodel urged black consumers to boycott the company’s products and said, “I’m shocked. It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate – not just for me, but for all black women. It is insulting and hurtful.”
Originally, Cadbury responded by saying that the campaign was “a lighthearted take on the social pretensions of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss.” It was no longer being shown, the company added.
But the London-based company issued a formal apology on its website Friday after discussing matters with Campbell’s attorneys.
“It was not our intention that this campaign should offend Naomi, her family or anybody else, and we are sincerely sorry that it has done so. We have been in discussions with Naomi’s solicitors and can confirm that they have accepted our apology on her behalf as a conclusion to this issue,” Cadbury said.