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'Fake interpreter ad is offensive'

Thamsanqa Jantjie has been used by an Israeli company to promote an app called LiveLens.

Thamsanqa Jantjie stars in an Israeli ad called LiveLens.

CAPE TOWN - A marketing analyst says a new foreign commercial featuring the infamous sign language interpreter at Madiba's memorial service is in extremely bad taste.

Thamsanqa Jantjie shot to notoriety in December when he misinterpreted what world leaders were saying at the service in December last year.

After numerous complaints, Jantjie claimed he suffered from schizophrenia and saw angels flying into the FNB stadium.

Now an Israeli company has decided to cash in on the infamous character by using Jantjie to verbally promote an app called LiveLens.

Marketing analyst Chris Moerdyk said making reference to the memorial service is simply in bad taste.

"I think it's tacky, it's really is and I think all South Africans will find that offensive. If anybody respected Nelson Mandela, they won't particularly like that."

But the Israeli company has justified the ad saying Jantjie can now get closure and has earned some money.

Moerdyk said using Mandela's memorial service in a parody commercial is simply not humorous.

"Generally speaking as an advertisement I don't think it works. It's mildly humorous, frankly not funny at all and badly produced. And whether it's to actually sell whatever they are trying to sell, I have my doubts."