A well-known chocolate brand has got consumers in a tizz after it released a casting call for its Christmas advertising campaign and specified no kids with red hair or fat children.
Milka, a Chocolate company based in Switzerland, sparked outrage with the rather odd wording of their casting call, as reported in news.com.au.
The company was looking for a child to play the character of “Mia”, who should apparently love David Bowie songs and want to help endangered sloths.
But the call-out also made it clear that “no children over 4ft 4ins” should apply. The child should be “beautiful and angelic” and have “soft hair”. “She can be aged 9-12,” it stipulated. But added that “if she is 12 she must be very small and still be childlike.”
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The bizarre casting notice was shared on Twitter by Helen Raw, who tweeted, “Just look at this casting wording for a 9-11 YEAR OLD!!”
Just look at this casting wording for a 9-11 YEAR OLD!! pic.twitter.com/HcQeOhz0eZ
— Helen Raw (@helenraw) August 8, 2019
To add to the list of stringent requirements, Mia needs to be “SWEET AND INNOCENT. STILL A LITTLE GIRL”, and applicants who had already started puberty would not be accepted.
The ad also noted that “eye colour and hair colour are not important but no red hair”.
The ad sparked outrage and attracted attention worldwide, including comedian Kathy Burke and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who have slammed the post.
“Imagine being the kids that don’t get the job — you’re just not beautiful enough I’m afraid, my darling, now off you pop and be riddled with insecurities for the rest of your life,” Burke said.
Apologies All Round
Spotlight UK, the platform which hosted the advert, has since issued an apology.
“On Thursday, one of the casting directors who use Spotlight’s platform published a casting call — or a ‘breakdown’ as they’re known in the trade — on our platform which absolutely did not meet our high standards but nevertheless slipped through the net,” it said.
“Breakdowns like this are, quite simply, totally unacceptable, and we should never have allowed it to be published.
We’re committed to giving all Spotlight members the very best service we can, and that includes making sure that every single Spotlight member and casting director can feel that they’re treated with respect and dignity.
“On this occasion we failed to meet our own standards, and we’ll be conducting a full review to make sure we get it right in the future.
“We made a serious error, and we should have done much, much better. We’re sorry.”
Big-Time Back Track
Mondelez International, which makes Milka chocolate bars, spoke to The Daily Star Sunday, “We take our advertising responsibility very seriously, and this is not representative of the brief we shared with the casting agency and does not meet our high standards.
“We would never approve the use of such a notice and are urgently reviewing the situation with Spotlight UK to understand how and why it has happened.”
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