Racist ad mocking Asians pulled off the air in Australia
The advertiser denied the ad was racist or degrading ‘in any way’
By Rachel Clun
A racist Australian radio ad featuring an Asian man named “Ping Pong” calling a concrete company for help has been pulled off air by the advertising watchdog.
The ad for TP Concreting in Kingaroy was found to have breached section 2.1 of the Advertiser Code of Ethics for racial discrimination and vilification.
The ad features a man speaking with an "Asian accent", who calls the company asking them to fix his driveway right now because "Mama has bog in driveway", and a voiceover says no job is "too weird".
The man also offers them sushi, and in the background his mother can be heard speaking "gibberish".
The ad was played on Kingaroy Hot FM in November, and a complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Bureau that said the ad "depicts a negative stereotype of the Asian community".
The advertiser denied the ad was racist or degrading "in any way".
"The language is English with an accent," the advertiser said in response.
"When it mentions food it is no different than saying a vegemite sandwich."
While the ASB noted the reference to sushi was not of itself discriminatory, it said the "cumulative effect" of the accent, the gibberish spoken by the mother, the man's name and calling the situation weird "amounts to a suggestion that Asian people are being mocked".
"While imitating an accent is not of itself discriminatory 'Ping Pong' is not an Asian name: it is an offensive term that can be used to refer to a person of Asian descent," the ASB said in the ruling.
"The board noted that while Mr Ping Pong speaks English, albeit grammatically incorrect, in the background we can hear his mother speaking and considered that the words she speaks are not identifiable as any known language but rather it sounds like she is speaking gibberish.
"The majority of the board considered that the advertisement normalises making fun of a person's English language skills."
As well as the mocking of language skills, the ruling said the ad suggested the man from TP Concreting thought the Asian man's mother had gone to the toilet in the driveway.
"The majority of the board considered that the advertisement presents Asian people in a manner which incites ridicule and that by mocking their command of English grammar and using a fake name, which is considered racist, rather than a real name, the advertisement is making fun of a difference between Western and Asian cultures which is humiliating for people of Asian descent," the ASB said.
In response, TP Concreting said they were already working on a new ad.
"As mentioned, we had already taken the ad off air. We didn't realise that it would in any way be inappropriate, we can see your point and are organising a new ad."