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Snickers ‘Manly’ ad pulled due to gay-rights protests

February 8, 2007

A Glenn Beck radio program caller complained Monday about a Snickers Super Bowl ad that featured two mechanics getting grossed out after they accidentally kissed, then ripped out chest hair to prove their “manliness”

SnickersAdThe caller was upset not by the “gross-out” antics of the ad’s characters, but because there was no advance warning on the ad that a man-on-man kiss was to come, and the caller’s young son saw the kiss. 

A tad homophobic, I think.

Beck was astonished by the caller. He said he didn’t find the ad offensive at all, and thought the caller was overreacting.

I thought so too at the time. The comic, over-the-top reaction of the mechanics was funny and made the ad work.  And America seemed to follow suit. The ad was ranked 5th best by MSNBC in their post-Bowl poll.

The Philly blog “Blinq”, by columnist Dan Rubin, reported that the Snickers “Manly” ad’s website has been yanked by the company, due to pressure from the gay community.

Clips and more after the jump… 

From “Blinq”:

Monday a blogstorm kicked up over the ad that showed two mechanics fighting over a Snickers bar and inadvertently kissing, with the largest gay civil rights group calling on the Mars Inc., the candy company, to pull several alternative endings and related material from its Web site.

And before the day was done, the material had been pulled, as were plans to show one of the alternate endings during the Daytona 500 telecast.

Here’s the clip of the ad via YouTube:

But, the controversy out of the gay community mostly focuses against the second, third and fourth endings for the ad …

The second version of this ad features the duo jumping apart, as a third mechanic comes in and makes a remark about “joining the Love Boat”:

The third version has the duo drinking antifreeze and oil as their man penance:

The fourth version is the only one I have serious issue with … the mechanics senselessly attack one another to prove their man worth:

AMERICAblog vents its frustration at the ad series:

The entire thing is absolutely sickening. And while I can appreciate that Snickers didn’t overtly think that promoting violence against gays and lesbians is “funny,” they knew what they were doing. They were gay-bashing for fun. And they didn’t just cross the line – they left the line in the dust.

It didn’t stop there. The site’s blogger, JohninDC, goes on to infer that the Snickers ad series 1) shows that it’s better to be poisoned that be gay (by drinking motor oil and antifreeze), and 2) it’s OK to beat up someone who is presumed gay (invoking Matthew Shepard’s murder). He threatened a nationwide protest if the ad didn’t get pulled.  And it was, so the threat worked, I guess.

In my opinion, only the fourth version of this ad that depicted senseless violence should be yanked. The other three were all very cartoonish and should not be taken as a realistic reaction by realistic people.

I put this in the camp of those that seek to find something wrong with Prince’s halftime show at the Super Bowl.  Even USA Today has had to run a story covering the “controversy.”

When you have the biggest stage, you also draw the biggest critics to the show.  And critics aren’t critics without something to criticize.

To it’s credit, Snickers did make a good case for running the ad, saying that the ad was “well received,” pointing to the popularity in post-Bowl ad contests.

But when a political force is battling you, popularity isn’t always a savior.

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One Comment
  1. arleen permalink
    February 9, 2007 7:54 am

    down with political correctness, its so tired. the commercial with the robot was challenged by suicide watch groups too. i am tired of cattering to the few. let people do what they want and get over it. i can respect (and do) everyones opinion. i simply dont think they are right some of the time.

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