MTN Ermahgerd complaint dismissed
The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has dismissed a consumer complaint against MTN’s Ermahgerd TV advertisement. The advertisement features a young girl who touches a yellow bubble, and various “Ermahgerd” characters then appear. One consumer found the advertisement offensive, arguing that it portrays white people as disabled and makes fun of people with disabilities.
MTN disputed the argument that the ad is offensive, explaining that it leverages a trending phenomenon of “Ermahgerd Girl”. MTN added that it has no intention of ridiculing any disability of any nature, nor would it perpetuate any negative or hurtful stereotypes of disabilities or people living with disabilities. The ASA agreed with MTN, saying the complainant appears to have read more into the commercial than what is there.
It accepted MTN’s explanation that the execution of the commercial was based on the trending “Ermahgerd” phenomenon.
The ASA subsequently dismissed the complaint.