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Bass drops Reef alcopop ad after row with New Zealand

UK brewing and drinks group Bass has been forced to drop a TV advertising campaign for its new Reef alcopop after a row with the New Zealand government.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) – UK brewing and drinks group Bass has been forced to drop a TV advertising campaign for its new Reef alcopop after a row with the New Zealand government.

The ad featured eight women in bikinis performing a version of the haka, the traditional Maori war dance, with the strapline “go native”.

The New Zealand High Commission in London said the ad was culturally insensitive because the haka was never performed by women and thought its connection to an alcohol brand was inappropriate.

Bass said the £2m commercial, created by Roose & Partners, a subsidiary of Chime Communications, would be withdrawn on January 4, but this is said to have further angered New Zealand officials, who want the ad withdrawn as soon as possible.

Bass said it had not intended to offend anybody. “We are culturally aware, and this advert is about portraying free-thinking British women.”

Last year, the Spice Girls received criticism for performing the dance while on holiday in Bali.



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