Russia: Toilet advert accused of racism

Toilet

An advert for toilet seats in the western Russian city of Kaliningrad has become the subject of an official inquiry amid concerns that it may be racist, it's been reported.

The billboard in question features a woman wearing an Indian sari reclining against a white toilet seat, captioned "I'm looking for a white friend". The investigation was launched after a local resident saw the placard outside a DIY superstore and complained to the authorities. The complainant said the wording offended "not only black people and ethnic minorities, but also all citizens who do not tolerate nationalism and racism", Kaliningrad.ru reports.

Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service, the state advertising regulator, said it would check whether any laws were breached by the promotion, which promised "anything for DIY to suit any colour or taste". In order to do this "fully and more objectively", the agency launched an appeal inviting local residents to say if they find the advert offensive. Meanwhile, less than 10% of readers who took part in an unscientific poll on the Kaliningrad.ru news website thought that the billboard was racist.

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