2 min

This week in ‘controversial’ advertising

While they are not on par with Benetton’s 2011 ad featuring Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez locking lips, this week saw the release of two advertisements that are generating mild controversy.

First up: the bigoted, misleadingly named subsidiary of hate-group the American Family Association, One Million Moms, is taking aim at the makers of every Canadian's favourite white-trash macaroni because of a print ad that ran in People featuring a semi-nude man on a picnic.

“Last week’s issue of People Magazine had the most disgusting ad on the inside front cover that we have ever seen Kraft produce,” Monica Cole, director of One Million Moms writes. “A full 2-page ad features a n*ked man lying on a picnic blanket with only a small portion of the blanket barely covering his g*nitals. It is easy to see what the ad is really selling. A person has to look closely to see the item the company is marketing because the salad dressing bottle is so small next to the male model, picnic basket. Kraft has gone too far and will push away loyal, conservative customers with this new ad campaign. Christians will not be able to buy Kraft dressings or any of their products until they clean up their advertising. The consumers they are attempting to attract – women and mothers – are the very ones they are driving away. One Million Moms cannot get over the gall of this company. It is unnecessary for Kraft to use s*x to sell salad dressing! (An asterisk is used to ensure our emails get through to those who have signed up to receive our alerts. Otherwise, referencing specific words would cause our emails to be blocked by some Internet filters.)”

If the 5,000 or so repressed individuals who make up this group boycott Kraft, I doubt it will affect the company’s profits. Perhaps they could make homemade salad dressing. May I suggest a flavourful cyanide vinaigrette?

Moving on: a harmless commercial for Cheerios, which I would have called “progressive” in the 1990s, drew ire in the form of YouTube comments because it depicts an interracial couple.

The YouTube detractors were so harsh, referencing Nazis and racial genocide, that commenting was disabled.

"Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all," Camille Gibson, VP of marketing at Cheerios, told Gawker.

The commercial, titled "Just Checking," proved two things to me that I already knew and have no problem with: people of different ethnicities get married and have children; and no matter what racial combination the two parents are, some of their kids will be stupid.