Cadbury is being slammed by critics on social media for showing a "gay kiss" in its new ad for Cadbury Creme Egg. Critics are claiming that the British candy giant is trying to "sell sex" to young children and now want the controversial ad to be immediately pulled down. The ad, which was released last month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Cadbury Crème Egg and to promote the company's annual Easter lineup, has now scandalized fans with its cheeky message.
More than 20,000 people have signed a petition for stop the ad, while a religious lobbying group in the United States has called for a boycott of Cadbury Creme Eggs over the ad. Last month, Cadbury UK had issued a defense of the campaign but it hasn't helped much, with customers now calling for a complete ban on the company's products.
What's the Controversy?
"It's the Creme Egg Golden Goobilee," a voiceover proclaims and then the ad goes on to show several characters, who all love eating their chocolate eggs in their own unique way, such as dipping, licking or baking with the treats. "Calling all eggshibitionists: Let the eatertainment begin!" the ad's voiceover annouonces. "Lickers, let loose ... Discreaters, come out of your shell," the voice continues.
However, in the final scene gives rise to all the controversy. In that scene two men are seen holding hands and spinning on a rooftop. One of them is holding the chocolate egg in his mouth, while the other man leans and bites into the egg, resulting in the gooey contents of the egg oozing out between them.
While many think there's nothing wrong with the ad, several others feel that it's not appropriate more so because of the product which is consumed by millions of children across the world. And now a petition has been launched with at least over 26,000 people having signed it demanding the removal of the ad from air. "By choosing to feature a same-sex couple, Cadbury's are clearly hoping to cause controversy and escape criticism," the petitioner alleges, "by claiming that any objections must be rooted in 'homophobia,' but members of the LGBT community have also expressed their dislike of this campaign."
The Birmingham-founded company first released the advertisement on its YouTube page and critics showed their displeasure from the very beginning, which has only intensified over the past month. The Mondelez International, Inc.-owned company also issued a defense of the campaign last month but that didn't help much.
"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," the statement read. Interestingly, the portion of the ad drawing flak features a real-life couple, identified as Callum Sterling and Dale K Moran, and the scene barely runs for two seconds.
Not only activists, also many on social media have expressed their displeasure over the ad. "I'm DISGUSTED by this. I would NEVER share a Creme Egg with my husband," said one man, whose response was "liked" by more than 5,600 people on Twitter.
Another angry user wrote: "The Cadbury's creme egg advert with two men kissing is divisive and dangerous, because it promotes the unacceptable idea that you should be expected to share your creme egg with another person."
At the same time there have been many who are talking in support of Cadbury. "I spent my childhood watching a woman in a bathtub fellating a Flake," one Twitter user wrote in reference to the British brand of chocolate bar made of flake and thinly folded milk chocolate.
"People losing their minds over two men kissing over a creme egg but have no problem with a woman cheating on her husband with an M&M?" joked another user. That said, although more people are signing the petition every day, it's unlikely that the company will shut down the campaign.