Most domestics are black‚ so ad can’t be called degrading: ASA


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed a complaint about an advert that depicts a black woman providing domestic services to a mixed-race couple.

Image: iStock

Suri Tsholetsane filed a complaint with the ASA against Domestly‚ a company providing domestic services. She complained about the company’s advert featuring a young black woman arriving at the couple’s home after they had book a service online.

She said the advert was discriminatory and degrading and promoted the stereotype that only black people are cleaners.

Tsholetsane demanded that the advert be removed and that the company offer a public apology.

Domestly argued that it hires all races and sexes. However‚ the large majority of workers are on its system are black South Africans “as this is sadly one of the largest unemployed and previously disadvantaged demographics”.

Domestly said domestic work was not a negative reflection on black South Africans‚ nor did it deem the ad degrading or discriminatory to any race‚ sex or culture.

The ASA dismissed the complaint‚ holding that: “It is undeniable that the domestic working sector is dominated by black South Africans and recently flooded by Africans from neighbouring countries.

“The Directorate agrees with the Respondent [Domestly] that the advertisement does not show the actress in the video in any bad light or her performing any kind of degrading work‚ nor does it show the homeowners as being superior in any way.

“There is no denying that any family of any race can access such services and any person from any race can register their services on the application.

“The company (a start-up digital application that connects domestic workers to clients and homes requiring cleaning services) currently uses its application to provide cleaning services and the majority of suppliers of those services are black South Africans and most importantly women.”



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