Earlier this week, we reported that Naomi Campbell was considering taking legal action against Cadbury for an ad the supermodel felt was racist.

The ad which was for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bliss chocolate bars, invoked Naomi’s name and reputation for an campaign seen on billboards and magazines. The ‘Bliss’ ads used the tagline:

“Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town.”

In a statement released today, Cadbury sought to make amends and end the fallout over its ‘Bliss’ ad:

“Cadbury takes its responsibility to consumers very seriously indeed, and we would never deliberately produce any marketing material we felt might cause offense to any section of society. It was not our intention that this campaign should offend Naomi, her family or anybody else, and we are sincerely sorry that it has done so.”

Given Cadbury’s statement today apologizing for the ad, it would seem that the company has acknowledged Naomi’s grievance and addressed it. But has the supermodel really won?

Throughout the week many have weighed in on whether or not Naomi was justified in moving forward on legal action against the chocolate maker and Kraft sub-brand. Naomi claimed that she was deeply offended by the ads saying:

“It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humor in this. It is insulting and hurtful.”

On our sister site, Coco + Creme, Jessica A. Andrews explored whether or not the term “chocolate” could be discriminatory and readers seemed split on the subject. But regardless of whether or not we as individuals felt the label could be offensive, Cadbury has stepped up to do damage control to keep the situation from getting worse.

As the discussion about Naomi’s reaction to the Cadbury ads has evolved many have wondered if the ad poked more fun at the supermodel’s temperamental public image than her skin color. While she has been known to rock runways around the world, in recent years the model’s name has become synonymous with cell-phone throwing and assistant abusing.

In 2007, Naomi was accused of throwing her bedazzled Blackberry at her housekeeper and two years prior she pled guilty to slapping and beating her assistant with a cell phone. In 1998, she plead guilty to assaulting a former assistant with a telephone as well.

Given the vagueness of the ad, it is impossible to determine whether Cadbury was using Naomi’s skin color or her reputation for the butt of its jokes. But today with the company offering its apology, has Naomi truly won?

Weigh in Clutchettes and tell us what you think? Did Naomi win in her campaign against Cadbury’s ads? Share your thoughts!

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  • Nadell

    “Media” thinks it can loosely throw out terms w/o there being any consequences or negative reactions. One may not be offended but someone else can take it as an offense. My intial reaction was I didn’t find it offensive or take it personally – but I can certainly see a double meaning. And if that were the intent of Cadbury, well then they were exposed. If I were Ms. Naomi Campbell and experienced the things she has experienced as a pioneer, legendary-supermodel, I probably would have her same sentiments.
    Media assumes they can make statements or come w/ the jargon and expect us to always view it as compliments or just accept what they consider generousity but sometimes that isn’t the case — and here we have the latter.