A complaint has been laid with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about two First National Bank radio ads that feature a lisping florist.
Gerhard Lombard from Pretoria told Mambaonline that he was furious when he heard the ads with the character of ‘Floyd the Florist’ on Jacaranda FM.
In the ads, Floyd is intended to be understood by listeners to be a gay man, thanks to his stereotypical nasal lisp and haughty manner.
The ads’ “humour” is entirely derived from the character’s speech and part-camp, part-bitchy attitude.
“Of course, what else would a gay person own but a flower shop?” Lombard questioned. “The tone of the voice is not acceptable. It’s poking fun at a stereotypical gay person.”
Lombard, who was the victim of a gay bashing five years ago, went on to say: “FNB thinks it’s funny to make fun of gays and lesbians but it’s actually condoning bullying, which starts at school level and goes on into the corporate world.”
He added that the advert had to be seen in the light of the ongoing and often-deadly epidemic of hate crimes against LGBTI people in South Africa and the targeted murders of gay men in Gauteng.
Lombard said that in addition to the complaint lodged with the ASA, he has also sent a written complaint to FNB.
“And you call yourself a professional bank? If your choice of commercials is any indication of your service then you are a disgusting homophobic institution with no respect for the very same people that bank with you,” wrote Lombard in his letter. “Yes, believe it or not you have gay and lesbian clients, but not for long if I can help it.”
Lombard is yet to receive a reply. Mambaonline is attempting to contact FNB on the issue and is hoping for a response.
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