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Snickers yanks gay kiss ad without saying sorry


February 08, 2007

LOS ANGELES — Snickers candy bar makers caved under the pressure of outraged gay advocates late Monday by yanking an anti-gay Super Bowl ad off TV and off its Website, but did not issue an apology.

The 30-second commercial features two mechanics inadvertently kissing over a Snickers bar. Panicked to “do something manly,” they each rip chunks of hair from their chests.

Gay advocacy groups fired off complaints to Snickers-maker Masterfoods USA – a division of Mars – saying the ad promoted anti-gay prejudice and condoned violence against gay Americans.

"We know that humor is highly subjective and understand that some people may have found the ad offensive. Clearly that was not our intent," Masterfoods said in a media statement. "As with all of our Snickers advertising, our goal was to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer."

According to the AP, the ad was to be part of a larger, multi-media campaign that Snickers was building around it. The ad directed viewers to a special website where visitors could vote for alternate ending to the hair pulling – including the two men drinking motor oil, the two fighting with wrenches or the two being joined by a third mechanic who asks: "Is there room for three on this love boat?"

The Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation were among the groups to demanding an apology to the gay community.

"Mars needs to apologize for the deplorable actions of its Snickers brand," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano, in a statement.

Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com, a website for gay sports enthusiasts, thinks that Masterfoods would be wise to apologize.

"They're a business," he told the AP. "And no company in a free market is in the business of alienating consumers – intentional or not."

Still, Masterfoods’ statement mentions nothing of an apology.

"We always look at lessons learned," the statement adds. "We'll be doing that with this." – Issued by Gay Link Content


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