SOFT drink Lilt has been canned after 50-years on Britain’s shelves.
The tangy tropical pop – a household favourite since 1975 – will be renamed Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit.
4Reggae music blasts in the background as grinning girls in bikinis sup Lilt in the advertsCredit: YouTube4The tangy tropical pop – a household favourite since 1975 – will be renamed Fanta Pineapple & GrapefruitCredit: AlamyCoca Cola, who own the brand, stressed the drink’s taste and ingredients would not change as the new look bottles and cans rolled out on February 14.
But the crushing of the much-loved can has cracked open it’s controversial history that saw its ads accused of cultural appropriation.
A famous commercial in 1981 saw Lilt served to white people on a Caribbean beach.
Reggae music blasts in the background as grinning girls in bikinis sup the fizzy drink but no black people feature.
While 1986 saw the ad unveil the “Lilt Man”, a milkman parody, delivering the drink in a “Lilt float” on a beach as a new flavour was launched.
Other ads included white people knocking around Caribbean markets buying pineapple and grapefruit, the soda’s ingredients.
Then in the 1990s, “Lilt Ladies” Blanche Williams and Hazel Palmer, both Jamaican, promoted the pop.
They have since gone viral following the announcement that Lilt is no more.
‘The Totally Tropical Taste’ tagline accompanied the marketing strategy throughout.
But writing in 2020, Brinsley Dresden, a marketing law expert at firm Lewis Silkin, blasted the campaigns.
They accused the brand saying “the cultural appropriation is clear enough” in the ads.
Discussing the 1981 ad, they explained: “Even the waiter handing the glasses of the cool, refreshing Lilt to the beautiful young Caucasian people appears to be white.”
Critics also accused the adverts of stereotyping, suggesting the rebrand to make the pop look more like Fanta was the correct decision.
In a statement, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners said: “Keen Lilt fans may have spotted a gradual transition as the drink has made its way into the Fanta family over the past few months, with changes to its packaging and logo.”
But the changeup has come in for a pasting by some who claim the move is “woke”.
One said: “Can’t believe Lilt has gone woke. Is nothing sacred?”
Another fumed: “Which woke group did Lilt upset for this nonsense to have to happen?”
But another offered a different take, chiming: “Roses are red, Mark King is a bassist, I’ll miss all the Lilt ads That were a tiny bit racist.”
Fanta brand manager Charlotte Walsham wanted to reassure fans Lilt “just got itself a new name”.
She added: “Our main priority with this announcement is to reassure Lilt’s loyal fan base that absolutely nothing has changed when it comes to the iconic taste of the drink they know and love.”
4In the 1990s, ‘Lilt Ladies’ Blanche Williams and Hazel Palmer, both Jamaican, promoted the popCredit: Lilt4’The Totally Tropical Taste’ tagline accompanied the marketing strategy throughoutCredit: YouTube
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk