To celebrate five decades of selling candy, Cadbury released an advertisement for their newest Creme Egg Golden Goobilee. What seemed like a harmless ad received numerous complaints from right-wing Christians for featuring two gay men sharing a chocolate egg.
The commercial was first shown on Jan. 4, and received 40 official complaints, according to MSN.
A spokesperson for Advertising Standards Authority told MSN that some of the complaints included:
- The ad is offensive to those who share Christian beliefs in regards to Easter
- It’s “inappropriate” for children to see two men kissing
- It breaks current public health guidelines as the men are in close contact
Meanwhile a Subway billboard advert that was released Jan. 11 features a heterosexual couple kissing and received no complaints so far.
“I can confirm that [the ASA] has not received any complaints about this ad,” said the spokesperson, as reported by MSN.
A spokesperson for Cadbury, refusing to give in to the criticism, released a statement of their own:
“Cadbury has always been a progressive brand that spreads a message of inclusion, whether it is through its products or brand campaigns. We are proud of our Golden Goobilee advert which celebrates the many ways that everyone can enjoy a Cadbury Creme Egg. To illustrate this and showcase the joy our products bring, a clip of a real-life couple sharing a Cadbury Creme Egg was included in the advert.”
Callum Sterling, one of the men that was sharing the egg with his boyfriend, Dale K. Moran, responded to the backlash on Instagram. Sterling shared a video of a Maybelline lipstick ad, which showed Lynda Carter in a swimming pool saying sexually suggestive phrases.
“So it’s ok when an advert sexualises a woman, a caucasian woman, THIRTY SEVEN years ago even, to benefit the male gaze and make other women feel inadequate if they do not live up to this beauty standard,” he wrote. “But it’s not okay, in 2021, to have an advert of a multi racial (strike one) gay couple (strike two) on your screens for 10 seconds (strike three) eating/kissing/sexualised (strike four). Does anyone see how ridiculous this is?”
Sterling says he’s proud that he and his boyfriend are becoming “the faces of this moment,” and that the love they have received “totally outweighs the fear based negative comments.”
He adds, “The only way for people to get used to it is to normalise it, and how else to normalise than by seeing it on your screens.”
The ad didn’t only receive complaints though. Users on Twitter have expressed their praise for its inclusivity.
Scott Bryan, a TV critic and broadcaster, wrote: “The latest Cadbury’s Creme Egg advert features a same sex couple kissing with a Creme Egg. To anyone ‘offended’ by this: you realise that we’ve seen straight couples make out thousands of times on television already and we don’t complain. Wonder why you are?”
Another user wrote, “Great advert @CadburyUK! Always fantastic to see some inclusivity on TV. The ‘outrage’ proves we need more of this. I am not sharing my #CremeEgg though!”