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Argos defends advert featuring all-black family after ‘racist’ critics said it was ‘completely unrepresentative of modern Britain’

‘We proudly represent modern Britain and the people and communities that we serve’, says retailer

Sarah Young
Sunday 30 August 2020 12:47 BST
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Argos defends advert featuring all-black family after online criticism

Argos has said it is “proud to represent modern Britain” after it criticised for releasing an advert featuring an all-black family.

The advert, which was shared on the retailer’s Twitter account, features a family enjoying a range of items in their garden for an outdoor movie night, including a popcorn machine, an outdoor projector screen, comfy seats and a children’s toy car.

“With summer spent closer to home this year, our gardens have been hosting relaxed family evenings,” the company wrote in the caption.

“Movie lovers, are you good? Or are you good to go?”

However, some Twitter users hit out at the company saying the advert was “completely unrepresentative of modern Britain” while others threatened to complain about to Ofcom.

As well as complaints that the advert featured a black family, others shared concerns that the relationship between the two women was unclear and that they could be a gay couple.

“So @Argos_Online isn’t interested in white folks then. Fine, we’ll use somebody else. See how long @Argos_Online lasts without white customers!!!” one person wrote.

Another added: “Can we not complain to @Ofcom? There must be something in the advertising standards @Argos_Online or are they just providing their products to black people now? Is this another company that needs to be boycotted?”

A third person commented: “Have you thought that the advert features a gay, female couple?”

Meanwhile, others called out the “racist comments” that were being left under the video with many referring to the backlash as “embarrassing” and “disgusting”.

“The ONE time that Argos put black people in an advert and everyone is outraged? How embarrassing,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another person pointed out that Argos has previously released adverts featuring all-white and even all-alien families before without receiving any criticism.

“Argos has been accused of being ‘completely unrepresentative of modern Britain’ by featuring an all-black family,” they wrote. “For context, Argos has featured an all-white family and all-alien family before.”

Another person agreed, writing: “Absolutely shocking you cannot make this crap up. White people crying about the Argos advert having black people in it.”

After witnessing the debate on social media, Argos weighed in and shared a simple statement on its account, saying: “We’re proud to represent a diverse and inclusive Britain in our advertising. Argos is for everyone.”

A spokesperson for Argos later told The Independent: “We proudly represent modern Britain and the people and communities that we serve.

“This ad is just one example of that.”

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