Snickers pulls ad in Spain following accusations of homophobia

Snickers

Snickers promotional campaign ‘You’re not you when your hungry’ has been a great success in Australia, but the latest ad in the Spanish version of the campaign has been pulled amid accusations of homophobia.

The campaign kicked off in 2010 with a Super Bowl ad featuring actor Betty White. In the United Kingdom Dame Joan Collins and Sir Elton John have appeared in the campaign.

Here in Australia the best known iteration features Home and Away actor Ray Meagher being grumpy at at a BMX meeting.

In Spain the latest take on the campaign sees camp Spanish influencer Aless Gibaja ordering a “sexy orange juice”, after the barman hands him a snickers ice cream he transforms into a bearded macho bloke.

The ad has drawn wide criticism, and calls for people to boycott the brand. The State Federation of Lesbian, Gays and Bisexuals criticised the campaign saying it was “shameful and regrettable that at this stage there are companies that continue to perpetuate stereotypes and promote homophobia.”

Spain’s Minister for Equality, Irene Montero commented on the ad as well, on Twitter she wrote; “I wonder who would think it is a good idea to use homophobia as a business strategy.”

Leftwing political party Podemos said the ad was in poor taste given the recent wave of homophobic attacks on members of the LGBTI communities in recent times.

“In the face of a wave of LGBTI-phobia, including attacks and even murders, Snickers can’t think of a better idea than to create a trashy commercial that tells you that you are not yourself if you are effeminate,” the posted.

Just last month the country saw a wave of protests after 24 year old man Samuel Luiz was killed in an alleged homophobic attack. So far six people, including two minors, have been charged in relation to his brutal death.

On Thursday Snickers responded to the advertisement saying it would no longer be shown, offering an apology for its broadcast.

“In this particular campaign we wanted to convey in a friendly and lighthearted way that hunger can change your character,” it said in a statement. “At no time was it intended to stigmatise or offend any person or collective.”

It’s not the first time the brand has been accused of promoting homophobia. Back in 2007 in the USA they ran an advertisement that saw two male mechanics eating the same snickers bar in a style similar to dogs eating spaghetti in a Disney film. When the two men’s lips meet they recoil is disgust.

Alongside the advertisement the company set up a website playing the reactions of players from two leading NFL teams. The site offered three alternative endings to the advertisement, which included violent reactions. Audiences were asked to vote for which version of the ad should play during the Daytona 500 car race.

After a public outcry the company pulled the ad and removed the website.

OIP Staff


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