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Nandos 'village bike' ad not sexist, rules ASA

Just ask nicely in a Portuguese accent

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Referring to the village bike or asking to borrow a friend's girlfriend is not sexist, offensive or derogatory to women, the ASA has ruled, as long as it is done in a comical Portuguese accent.

The Advertising Standards Authority made the ruling in response to a series of complaints about adverts for Nandos, the periperi chicken chain, which were run on Spotify.

According to the ASA, the first ad featured a man with a Portuguese accent extolling the spirit of Nandos.

He related how "One day many years ago, I introduce my friend to succulent flame grilled peri peri chicken. He was so happy that in return he introduce me to the village bicycle. Oh, all that summer I ride her and ride her, behind the cowsheds and in the fields. Sometimes my friend is there too and we both ride her and then we get off together."

However, the story took a sad turn when the narrator related "Then, when the winter comes, one night I leave her outside and she go rusty. But hey, her bell still works!”

The second ad featured the same voice, saying "If you introduce a friend to succulent flame grilled peri peri chicken, oh well, maybe they will write you an epic love poem, or put you in their will, or let you borrow their girlfriend! Who knows what a friend might do for you, when you introduce them to the spirit of Nando's?”

The first ad attracted four complaints which "challenged" whether the ad, "and particularly the reference to the 'village bicycle', was offensive, sexist and derogatory to women and likely to cause serious or widespread offence".

The second ad attracted one complaint, asking if the ad, particular the reference to girlfriend borrowing was similarly offensive, "because it implied that women could be treated as objects to be passed around".

The ASA declined to uphold either complaint, accepting that the narrator's accent implied a slight understanding of English. It noted that while the ads were in poor taste "listeners were likely to understand that the reference to 'the village bicycle' was an innuendo and that the humour was derived from the narrators lack of knowledge of the double meaning of that idiomatic phrase".

The second ad elicited a similar response, with the ASA adding that it did not consider the suggestion "'let you borrow their girlfriend' was serious, or that it implied that women should be treated as objects to be passed around".

Unlike Nando's Altogether Now starter, which apparently features enough spicy dip and warm pitta pockets to satisfy at least four. ®

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