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Snickers Pulls Controversial Ad But No Apology


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Snickers Pulls Controversial Ad But No Apology


by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: February 6, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(New York City) Mars has pulled its controversial ad showing two mechanics kissing following complaints by LGBT civil rights groups, but it is not apologizing for the commercial than run during the Super Bowl or for the video comments by players posted on its Web site.

"As with all of our Snickers advertising, our goal was to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer, primarily 18-to-24-year-old adult males," company spokesperson Alice Nathanson told the New York Times in a statement.

"Feedback from our target consumers has been positive, and many media and Web site commentators on this year’s Super Bowl lineup ranked the commercial among this year’s best."

"We know that humor is highly subjective and we understand that some consumers have found the commercial offensive," Nathanson told The Times, adding: "Clearly that was not our intent. We do not plan to continue the ad on television or on our Web site."

The commercial featured two burly auto mechanics working on a car engine. One of the men takes a Snickers bar out of his pocket and begins to eat it. The other mechanic starts eating the candy bar from the opposite end until the two meet, lips on lips.

Then one mechanic says, "Quick, do something manly," at which point they each rip off some of their chest hair.

On the Snickers Web site the company offered several different potential endings to the commercial, and it posted video of some of the Bowl players reactions to the kiss commercial.

In that video, one of the producers of the commercial could be heard telling Bears tight end Desmond Clark that it took 50 takes of the two men kissing for them to get it right.

"I hope they got paid a lot of money," replied Clark

Several gay bloggers called for a boycott of Mars brands. Both the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Matthew Shepard Foundation blasted the commercial accusing it of encouraging violence against gays.

"That Snickers, Mars and the NFL would promote and endorse this kind of prejudice is simply inexcusable,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano.

Giuliano said that in early January, TBWA\Chiat\Day, the New York ad agency that produced the commercial asked GLAAD to review and provide analysis on a Snickers spot. GLAAD agreed, he said but the next day, the agency abruptly withdrew its request without having shown it to GLAAD.

"The makers of Snickers and it's parent company at Mars should know better," said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese.

"This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country. Eighty-four percent of GLBT students report being verbally harassed at school, and this type of ad only reinforces that," said Solmonese.

"I am outraged that Mars, the NFL and these players would promote such an anti-gay message," said Judy Shepard, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

"This campaign encourages the same type of hate that led to the death of my son Matthew ... In particular, I am dismayed that these players, who are role models to our young people, would participate in perpetuating such discrimination and prejudice.

Although Mars has removed the commercial and the player remarks from its Web site the video can still be seen on YouTube, the Commercial Closet, and elsewhere on the Internet.

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