Snickers has pulled a advertisement from TV in Spain after it attracted intense backlash for being homophobic.
The 20-second advertisement, which aired on primetime TV, showed Spanish influencer Aless Gibaja order a “sexy orange juice” at a beach bar while with a friend.
Gibaja is then handed a Snickers ice cream bar by a waiter. After taking a bite, he transforms into a bearded man with a deep voice.
The man’s friend then asks if he is feeling “better” and the bearded man replies that he is.
Then a voiceover reads the Snickers slogan, “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry”.
But the TV ad sparked intense criticism in the country.
Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero called it homophobic in a post on Twitter.
“I wonder who thought it’s a good idea to use homophobia as a business strategy,” she wrote.
“Our society is diverse and tolerant. Hopefully those who have the power to make decisions about what we see and hear in commercials and TV shows will learn to be too.”
Local group the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals also weighed in on Twitter.
They tweeted it was “shameful and unfortunate” there are “companies that continue to perpetuate stereotypes and promote homophobia”.
Ante la oleada de LGTBIfobia, con agresiones e incluso asesinatos, a Snickers no se le ocurre ninguna idea mejor que hacer un spot publicitario basura para decirte que no eres tú mismo si tienes pluma.
No hagas caso de su LGTBIfobia, eres libre de ser como te dé la gana. pic.twitter.com/wFgJ92gLkl
— PODEMOS (@PODEMOS) August 5, 2021
Snickers in Spain pulls homophobic TV ad
Snickers Spain later announced it would pull the campaign and apologised for any “misunderstanding”.
The brand said the TV ad wasn’t “intended to stigmatise or offend any person or group”.
Instead, Snickers argued the campaign was trying to do the opposite.
“In this particular campaign, we wanted to convey in a friendly and casual way that hunger can change your character,” the company explained.
“Again, we regret any misunderstandings. In order to avoid spreading a message that could be misinterpreted, we’ll immediately proceed to remove the campaign.”
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