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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
R.I.P. The Flake girl
THE FLAKE GIRL is no more; she has been thrown out with her bathwater.

Last seen wandering through a cornfield before relaxing in an overflowing tub as she enjoyed her Cadbury's chocolate bar, she became famous as a symbol of indulgence and secret pleasure.

Deborah Leng in the 1987 Cadbury's advert
Happier times
Hers was a long, happy life by the standards of most characters in adverts, and one uncomplicated by responsibilities. Her emphasis - to a raspingly emotional jingle, voted third most memorable of all time - was on allowing herself a guilt-free luxury. In this she was merely doing her master's bidding.

However, many saw in the delicacy with which she nibbled the crumbly chocolate bar, more than a hint of sexual pleasure.

The power of the symbolism, from an era of relatively restricted sexual imagery on television, continues to resonate. In May, one sex therapist urged people to enjoy the same delight with food: "Just think about the way she sensually crumbles the chocolate in her mouth," she wrote.

Friends may have foreseen Flake girl's fate in the increasingly sexual nature of much competing advertising; far from being glamorous she had become a cliché. Her genuine enjoyment also seemed out-of-step in an age in which knowing irony and parody had become the norm.

As one commentator wrote last year: "It was an odd advert, not least because the woman had clearly only just put on heavy make-up. Only the crumbliest, flakiest woman would wear make-up in the bath. And isn't chocolate meant to taste terrible when smeared with lipstick?"

She will be succeeded by an animated animal.

No flowers.

Your tributes:

I remember a time when the closest thing to sex on the TV was the flake ads, and ads for Richard Shops. Oh how times have changed - the end of an era indeed!
Martin Bishop, UK

Only a Cad would Bury this ad
Gary, US

Only to be resurrected in a whoop of publicity three years down the line...?
Scot Gillespie, Scotland

Lashes to ashes, bust to dust...
Simon, UK

If the animated animal is that lady rabbit from the Cadbury's Caramel ads I would be one very happy man.
Richard Madden, UK

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