Morrisons forced to apologise to Scousers over "offensive" casting advert 6 years ago

Morrisons forced to apologise to Scousers over "offensive" casting advert

If you're casting an advert for "warm" and "friendly" northern folk - preferably "proper working-class people" - then you'd assume Liverpool would be a good place to start, no? Wrong!

Not if you're Morrisons, apparently. The supermarket chain has been forced to apologise after Liverpudlian natives complained about a job notice on vacancy platform, Casting Networks International.


The notice, which required working-class actors, but not Benefits Street caricatures, read as follows:

"These films will focus largely on people’s facial expressions. Therefore it’s vital that their faces have character - something interesting and captivating that will make the film watchable.

"But nothing glaringly obvious, and we don’t want caricatures. We want quirks: freckles, bushy eyebrows etc. They should all be warm and likeable.

"They should be proper working class people, but not at all like the characters from Benefits Street. They should NOT sound or look posh, and we should skew towards northern accents.

And nobody from Liverpool please."


That's right, all good until the last requirement - nobody from Liverpool, please.

As you can imagine this did not go down very among Scousers who happened across the advert. It was even compared to sexism, racism, and antisemitism in its exclusionary nature.


For its part, Casting Networks absolved itself of all blame in a statement issued by CEO Glen Ward:

"We are not the authors of these postings, nor are we an agency. The unfortunate views expressed in this instance are not what CNI stands for. We are a responsible organisation and we take a very dim view of this matter."


As for Morrisons, it too denied culpability for the anti-Scouse sentiment:

"We are angry and we apologise that a third party has published a statement using our name without our knowledge...Everyone is welcome at Morrisons, and we work really hard to ensure our marketing represents the whole of the nation."

Whoever is to blame, you anger the proud people of Liverpool at your peril, especially when they make up part of your demographic...