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Nando's pulls Mugabe chicken advert

By AFP
08:00 AEST Fri Dec 2 2011
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A cheeky chicken advert poking fun at Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as "the last dictator standing" who misses the company of deceased autocrats has been pulled from South African television.

The advert which upset Mugabe supporters shows a cheerless look-a-like pausing to reminisce about happier times with the likes of Idi Amin and Muammar Gaddafi, after placing the dead Libyan's name card on an empty banquet table.

"We've noted with concern the political reaction emanating out of Zimbabwe, including perceived threats against Nando's Zimbabwe's management, staff and customers," said Nando's South Africa.

"Nando's South Africa takes these threats very seriously and will regrettably no longer flight the TV commercial as part of our festive season campaign."

A pro-Mugabe youth group in Harare has denounced the advert, showing the 87-year-old frolicking with Gaddafi's with water guns to the sounds of 'Those Were the Days' before singing karaoke with China's Mao Zedong.

He goes on to gleefully make sand angels with Iraq's Saddam Hussein, push apartheid henchman PW Botha on a swing and carry out a Titanic-style enactment atop an army tank behind Ugandan butcher Amin.

The bulk chicken meal special ends with a solitary Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for more than 30 years, and a pay-off line against eating alone.

"We feel strongly that this is the prudent step to take in a volatile climate and believe that no TV commercial is worth risking the safety of Nando's staff and customers," said the company.

The South African company which has branched out internationally is well-known for its tongue-in-cheek, often controversial advertising campaigns.