Snickers Spain withdraws ad after homophobia accusations

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Snickers in Spain released a controversial commercial and apologized for any “misunderstanding that may have been caused” after the 20-second film was widely condemned for its homophobia.

the advertising shows Spanish influencer Aless Gibaja orders a “sexy orange juice” while a friend exchanges puzzled glances with the waiter. The waiter responds by handing Gibaja a Snickers ice cream bar, and after a bite, Gibaja appears to transform into a bearded man with a deep voice.

” Better? The friend asks. “Better,” the man replies as the tagline reads, “You are not yourself when you are hungry. “

The ad came under heavy criticism after it began circulating online this week, with some calling for a boycott of the brand. The State Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Federation was among those who condemned him, saying it was “shameful and unhappy that there are companies that continue to perpetuate stereotypes and promote the homophobia ”. in a tweet.

Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero also intervened. “I wonder who would think it’s a good idea to use homophobia as a business strategy. she said on Twitter. “Our society is diverse and tolerant. Hopefully those with the power to decide what we see and hear in commercials and TV shows learn to be, too.

The incident comes weeks after Spain was rocked by the beating of a young gay man in an alleged homophobic assault. The murder of Samuel Luiz, 24 years old – described by the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, as a “savage and ruthless act” – sparked nationwide protests. Six people, including two minors, have so far been arrested in connection with the incident.

The murder was part of a series of homophobic attacks across Spain that have made headlines in recent months, the far-left Podemos party said. “Faced with a wave of LGBTI phobias including attacks and even murders, Snickers can’t think of a better idea than to create a trashy ad that tells you you’re not yourself if you’re effeminate . ” he said on Twitter.

Snickers Spain said on Thursday it would immediately withdraw the ad and apologized “for any misunderstanding” that may have been caused by the campaign.

“In this particular campaign, we wanted to convey in a friendly and light way that hunger can change your character,” he said in a statement. statement published online. “At no time was there any question of stigmatizing or offending a person or a group. “

A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley, owner of the Snickers brand, said: “We sincerely apologize for any damage caused by a recent advertisement for Snickers Ice Cream in Spain. We recognize that we were wrong and have immediately removed the online content. We take equal rights and inclusion seriously, we want a world where everyone is free to be themselves and we believe that as an employer and advertiser we have a role and a responsibility to play in the creation of this world. We will take the opportunity to listen and learn from this mistake and do better in the future. “


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