This I suppose could come under the heading of 'rant' even though I am not speaking or writing in an angry or violent manner, which I consider the word to mean, but for want of a better word, then rant will have to do. The thing that's got my goat up, got me rabbiting on, cheesed off and all the other idiomatic phrases that could be applied is: Pot Noodle (or rather, the advertising campaign they are currently using). I'm not normally one to smart at the piss being taken out of the Welsh, I do it myself quite often, and I'm a Welshman. But the Pot Noodle ad campaign, using the now defunct Welsh Mining Industry as its flagship sits uncomfortably with me for some reason. I see its funny side but somehow it grates on me more than makes me smile. The Gary Lineker and Charlotte Church ad where she's eating crisps and calls him a muppet doesn't have the same effect on me for example, yet that too, in a way is taking the piss out of the Welsh, however, it seems less offensive that the Pot Noodle one and I can chuckle at it. I tried to look at it rationally, especially when seeing that other people have said things like:-
"To say the advert is racist is ludicrous given the snacks are made in Wales andHmm.. would they dare say otherwise?
our staff are delighted to be in it." (spokesman for Unilever)
"The joke isn't on the Welsh, but on people who'd think noodles are mined in
Wales. It's the same as people thinking haggis are Scottish animals."
Lembit Opik Shadow Welsh Sec for Lib Dems.
Would it be PC if it was showing an Indian gentleman named Singh ploughing fields of chapati plants or a Chinese lady collecting spring rolls from a tree? I'm sure more would be said if another ethnic race had been targetted by their campaign, and another thing, for all of us living in Britain, how do you feel about the idea that we are 'fuelled' by this stuff made of dehydrated
vegetables, textured soya protein and preservatives?
I'd much prefer a good bowl of cawl, wouldn't an Englishman prefer a hot plate of roast beef, a Scots his venison stew, an Irishman his Colcannon? I wonder if Unilever deliberatley look
for the sort of advert that runs close to the wind and invites protests so that a large amount of their advertising becomes self generating. Look at their previous Pot Noodle ones, the ones
that could easily have been mistaken for sex adverts:
"Pot Noodle - The Slag of all Snacks". "Bombay Bad Boy" flavoured Pot Noodle by a dominatrix, with the tag line "Hurt Me, You Slag!"
Then the 'horn' ones which were just as vulgar.
Perhaps the thing that saddens me the most is the vision of former miners participating in this campaign, after all that the Welsh Mining Industry went through in the 80s/90s to desperatley stay open and viable.
An industry that can trace its roots back to The Bronze Age, cut open and ruined in the 90s and had the crude plastic fork of mediocrity given its final twist in its innards in 2006.
Food for thought, isn't it?
ASA complaints page, should you feel inclined: http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/how_to_complain/