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Land Rover rapped for racist ad

LONDON - Land Rover has been forced to withdraw an ad deemed racist by the South Africa’s Advertising Standards Authority and print a public apology in its place.

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The three-page press advert for its Freelander model appeared in a number of South African magazines. It featured a semi-naked African woman in native dress whose breasts were blown sideways by the tailwind of the vehicle. The ad carried the tagline "Then new more powerful Freelander".

The replacement ads will contain a ruling by the ASA which said the ad was "irresponsible [and] exploitative and constitutes racial stereotyping and violates human dignity. The insensitive portrayal of the woman makes a mockery of African culture."

The company has since sacked South African agency Hunt Lasaus, which created the campaign, and from now on its London office will vet all worldwide advertising.

Gavin Green, Land Rover's director of communications at the London office, called it a "stupid ad" and denied that it had anything to do with the UK operation. "We cannot have our company or our brand portrayed in this way. We pulled the ad days after it first ran, as soon as we were aware of it."

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