The Feed a Child ad was meant to depict how much better the average dog has it than most children in South Africa … however, some online users were not amused by the doglike posture in which the young black boy was placed, IOL News reports.
According to the South African news site, the video, which has since been removed from YouTube, shows the little boy being given treats by a white woman as he rests his head on her lap. When he brings her a newspaper in bed, he is given another treat.
The site further details that in the closing scene, the boy is allowed to lick the woman’s finger as she cooks, with the video ending with the line, “The average domestic dog eats better than millions of children.”
Jarring, to be sure, and quite offensive to some, given the reactions, according to IOL News.
“I am so disgusted—you guys have no respect for the human race,” one user, Charmaine Gxilishe, commented under the deleted ad, according to the site.
However, Feed SA Director Candice Etberg has reportedly defended the ad, pointing out, “This is a great advert that highlights what is actually going on. The average dog does eat better than most children in this country.”
Feed a Child also came to its own defense, releasing its own statement, according to iAfrica:
The commercial is intentionally emotive to trigger the necessary awareness on this issue to generate engagement and contributions. There was no intention to cause offense. Feed a Child aims to provide support for the devastating impacts caused by poverty and malnutrition in South Africa. Our main mission is to make people aware of the fact that there are thousands of children out there that they work with on a daily basis that don’t even have access to one meal per day.