Lee and Dan, the creative team behind the spoof Volkswagen suicide bomber viral ad, are under fire for another spoof viral ad, this time for Unilever Bestfoods’ Pot Noodle brand, which uses a racist term.
The Pot Noodle viral ad shows a kettle being filled with tap-water. The word “Pikey” is superimposed over the image, which then cuts to a “Pot Noodle Spring Water” bottle with the slogan “Respect the Pot Noodle”.
A spokeswoman for the Commission for Racial Equality says Pikey is a racially abusive term referring to the Irish traveller community.
Unilever Bestfoods says it has nothing to do with the film. A spokesman says: “We are investigating the situation and will take further action if we think it is appropriate.”
Meanwhile, a Volkswagen UK spokesman says the car giant is outraged by Lee and Dan’s suicide-bombing spoof, in which an apparently Middle Eastern man in a VW Polo sets off explosives strapped to his body in an attempt to blow up an outdoor café. The explosion is confined within the car, however. The viral ends with the VW slogan “Polo. Small but tough”.
The VW spokesman says: “Neither we nor our agencies had anything to do with it. We are quite upset and are taking legal action against the initiators.”
Lee Ford of Lee and Dan told Marketing Week in an e-mail that both “ads” were purely speculative work, never intended for public consumption.