In the UK Heinz have pulled a TV ad showing a kiss between two men, after it received over 200 complaints that it was “offensive” and “inappropriate to see two men kissing”.
The advert shows a morning family routine – dad is getting ready for work whilst mum prepares sandwiches for the children. Because the sandwiches contain Heinz Deli Mayo, “mum” is visually represented by a stereotypical male New Work deli owner for comedic effect.
This advert does not feature a gay couple (as has been misreported in some cases) – it is a metaphor. The joke is that Heinz Deli Mayo makes sandwiches taste as if Mum’s kitchen has been transformed into a genuine New York deli.
Seemingly a fraction of the population didn’t understand that, and Heinz apparently agree with them that a parody situation where a man gives another man a goodbye peck before heading to work is offensive. That being the case, it rather strongly implies that they would consider any kind of genuine homosexuality to be even “worse”!
If offending 200 people causes them concern, I think they’ve just hit a PR disaster by offending the entire gay community. Not to mention straight people like myself who are offended that Heinz took the opinion of 200 bigoted complainers to be representative of the views of the entire nation. Wake up Heinz – this is 2008, not 1908!