Campbell claimed she was “shocked” by the ad, which used the strapline “Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town” because she felt her skin colour was being compared to chocolate.
She said: “I am shocked. It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humour in this. It is insulting and hurtful.”
Cadbury says in a statement on its website that it takes its responsibility to consumers very seriously and would never deliberately produce marketing material that could cause offence to any section of the society.
The statement says: “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.”
The advertisement is no longer in circulation and will not be used for future Cadbury promotions.
Cadbury says it has been in discussion with Campbell’s solicitors who have accepted its apology on behalf of her “as a conclusion to the issue”.
Equality group Operation Black Vote yesterday (2 June) called on Cadbury to apologise.
Simon Wooley of Operation Black Vote says: “Racism in the playground starts with white children calling black children ’chocolate bar’. At best this is insensitive and, at worst, Cadbury’s utter disregard for a community’s feelings. Their white euro-centric joke is not funny to black people.”