The company behind an advertisement poking fun at President Jacob Zuma and his family said on Wednesday it would be voluntarily withdrawing the cartoon from television.
"Even though public response to our advert has been more than favourable and no official complaint has been lodged to date, after careful consideration, we have decided to stop broadcasting the advert on all television channels," Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings, said in a statement.
"While we do not agree with the SABC's position in this regard, we have no intention of forcing the issue. The objective of the advert is to convey our brand message of 'Hot and a Lot' in a humourous and socially relevant context. The controversy that has also arisen was not our intention and this has informed our decision to stop flighting the advert with immediate effect," Gonzaga explained.
The SABC said on Tuesday that the commercial was not aired because it implied presidential endorsement of the product.
"It was never our intention to portray President Zuma as endorsing The Fish & Chip Co as we believe that the advert highlights our great value for money meal offerings. Although we are of the opinion that no reasonable person would conclude that the President would actually endorse our (or any) brand, our offer to donate R100 000, on behalf of the Presidency, to President Zuma's charity of choice still stands," Gonzaga added.
On Tuesday, The Fish & Chip Co said that if President Zuma objected to the use of his image on other channels, they would offer to donate R100 000 to a charity of the president's choice.
Gonzaga added that a new cartoon advert would be aired within the next two weeks.
"We would also like to thank the South African public for engaging with our brand and we have no doubt that they will enjoy the new commercial just as much, and we look forward to their continued support."