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Thursday, 23 August, 2001, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK
'Controversial' golly to be shelved
Golly logo
Golly has been used on the jars for 91 years
The jam and marmalade jar character Golly is to be ditched by its producers Robertson's after 91 years.

The controversial character is being replaced by drawings from Roald Dahl stories.

Golly hit the headlines in the 1980s when it was condemned as a racist symbol.

Robertson's, which is based in Droylsden in Greater Manchester, said the latest decision had been based on research which found children were unfamiliar with the character.

Roald Dahl characters
Roald Dahl characters will adorn the jars

Brand director Ginny Knox, said: "We're incredibly excited about the new scheme and feel that it is a fantastic fit with Robertson's well-established values of family fun and Britishness.

"With annual UK sales of over one million books, Roald Dahl evokes strong feelings of warmth and affection with today's parents and their children."

Seven characters, illustrated by Quentin Blake, will feature including James & the Giant Peach and Willy Wonka, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

'Not offensive'

The changeover will start appearing on jars of Robertson's jams and Golden Shred marmalade from 1 September.

But the Golly will continue to feature on the company's mincemeat until Christmas.

Ms Knox denied it was because it was an offensive image.

Golly at the South Bank, London
Golly is going into retirement
"We sell 45 million jars of jam and marmalade each year and they have pretty much all got Golly on them.

"We also sell 250,000 Golly badges to collectors and only get 10 letters a year from people who don't like the Golly.

"Whereas we are concerned about those people and it's not our intention to be offensive with the Golly, we have to look at what our research says and what the sales say.

"The feedback has consistently been that for the vast majority of people, the Golly is a positive thing that they like," she added.

Originally called the Golliwog, the Golly first appeared on jars in 1910.

The character became one of the UK's longest running consumer loyalty schemes.

Emeritus Prof Stuart Hall, Britain's Open University
"I am sure it had no.. racial overtones"
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