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Feed a Child defends controversial ad

The ad depicts a black child as a dog in the home of a wealthy white woman.

A screenshot of the Feed a Child advert depicting a black child as a dog.

JOHANNESBURG - Feed a Child South Africa has responded to a highly controversial advert depicting a black child as a dog in the home of a wealthy white woman.

The advert, which has since been removed from YouTube, shows the child being fed snacks by the woman.

He even licks her finger while she is cooking in the kitchen.

The child then kneels before the woman as she sits on a chair and the ad ends with the line: "The average domestic dog eats better than millions of children."

In a statement, Feed a Child has defended the ad, saying the commercial is based on the shocking societal truth that many domestic animals in this country are better fed than many children.

"The commercial is intentionally emotive to trigger the necessary awareness on this issue to generate engagement and contributions. There was no intention to cause offence."

"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."

The organisation says it is monitoring responses to the commercial and are open to any feedback but stressed that it "remains valid and is serving its important purpose of raising awareness."

The ad has generated mixed reaction on social media networks.

Problem with ads like #FeedAChild ad is that real issue gets hijacked by controversy. Conversation about #race & not #hungryChildren now

OMG this #Feedachild ad is disturbing!!

#FeedaChild your thoughts on this ad? I think it's effective. Provocative. Bravo. https://t.co/g6NAfL3BhX

#FeedaChild creative brilliance blinded by zero coal face experience of the real hungry children in SA.

Dignity was very much secondary in that advert. #feedachild #ogilvy

Timeline

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