French multinational insurance company Groupama has been forced by Operation Black Vote to pull one of its adverts with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, currently showing in Spain.
The commercial depicts black people, in a jungle scenario as "stupid, backward, animalistic homosexuals", according to the UK racial equality group.
However Groupama, which has a subsidiary here in the UK, stated that they do not consider that the advert "contains either offensive nor any discriminatory content”.
In the Spanish commercial Reina, whose name translated into English means "Queen", is introduced to a tribe chief who chooses him, the "Queen", as his partner.
In a statement on OBVs website, Director Simon Woolley said: “I’m shocked on so many levels. Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals?
"Secondly, what does this say about Pepe Reina? The Liverpool goalkeeper has lived and worked in the UK for nearly a decade, does he think it’s ok characterise Black people this way? Does he think his Black team mates will laugh at his joke?”
The group also commented that it was a "shame" that another Liverpool player had caused offence to the black community.
For the past fourth months the club has been the subject of heavy criticism for the handling of the Luis Suarez race row, after the Uruguayan was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
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