In move designed to distance themselves from the carbonated soft -drink manufacturer, Nigel Farage (UKIP Leader) was forced to disavow Pepsi’s latest advertising campaign.
Pepsi, a long term financial supporter of UKIP, had recently commissioned a series of adverts starring family favorite Reginald D Hunter. Mr. Hunter is depicted as a middle-aged, spinster from the Home Counties. Noticeably “whitened up”, Mr. Hunter then directs a rant at camera, during which he uses the word “liberal” in excess of six times in a fake English accent. In a statement on Wednesday, PepsiCo said that it took "full responsibility" for any offence caused by commercial but at least “it shows we’ve got a sense of humor.”
This recent embarrassment to UKIP follows a series of incidents involving party members that have resulted in a nation-wide shortage of Nazi memorabilia. Mr. Farage explained his Party’s position: “It's not that we don't like racists, we just don't like racists that attract media attention. In the same way we don't hate all immigrants...just immigrants to this country.”
No strangers to controversy, Pepsi caused a stir in May 2011 with their "Memorial Day Pepsi", featuring the tag-line “flavored with the blood of our fallen soldiers”. On the eve of local elections, Pepsi’s ad campaign could not have come at worse time for UKIP. “The Tories are deliberately trawling YouTube and PFA dinners to smear UKIP,” Mr. Farage complained. "These things happen – I should know – I’m the voice of Fenton the dog.”
Carl Humphries, UKIP branch organizer, said there were no plans to sue Pepsi, adding: “Mr. Hunter is definitely not a Nazi...definitely not…no Nazi’s here….although just saying Nazi again and again makes you think that maybe there is…oops, my bad!”