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Monday, February 05, 2007

Five hours 

Wow, that didn't take long.
Americablog's first post on the Snickers homophobic ad campaign. launched at the Superbowl, was timed at just after noon, at 12:37 pm to be exact.
The ad in question showed a mechanic eating a Snickers bar. Hi co-mechanic is so desirous of the Snickers that he starts eating it from the other end of the same bar that's already in the other guy's mouth. The two butch guys eat their way down the bar, like the dogs eating the same string of pasta in the Disney movie - until they're accidentally kissing. The guys, naturally, recoil in disgust - then, oddly, start ripping out their chest hair with their hands . . . Snickers has set up a Web site where ... you can watch recorded-live-on-video reactions of real Bears and Colts players watching and reacting to the ad, and you can even watch the ad with 3 additional endings not shown on TV. You then vote on the three endings and the most popular one will air during the Daytona 500 . . . the reactions of the Bears and Colts players to two guys kissing is outright disgust . . . [one of the additional endings] After the guys kiss, they say "I think we just accidentally kissed - quick, do something manly," and proceed to drink motor oil and I think anti-freeze - they guzzle it down, screaming at the top of their lungs, making them sick to their stomachs. The ad is vaguely violent - better to die than be gay.. . . [another ending]The two guys accidentally kiss, they say to each other again "quick, do something manly," and one guy proceeds to pick up a huge oversized wrench and violently attack the other guy, while the second takes the first and throws him under the hood of the car, slamming it down on his head. Yes, the appropriate reaction to a guy kissing you is to beat the crap out of the guy who kissed you. Maybe Snickers should rename this ad "Matthew Shepard." . . . 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. . . . I've called the head of corporate public relations for Mars and am waiting to hear back. I've also talked with the lead press guy for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay civil rights group in the country, and they're not very happy, to put it lightly.
As the guy who launched the first-ever successful boycott of a TV show (StopDrLaura.com), I'm going to suggest to Mars that they had better nip this in the bud quickly, or they're not going to know what hit them.

Five hours and 200,000 visitors later, at 5:47 pm, John posted another message that the offending, offensive website was gone.
Masterfoods, Mars and Snickers parent company (or something), called to let me know that while humor is highly subjective, and their target market for the ads did give them positive feedback (that would be the neanderthal gay-bashing fans of Snickers?), they did not intend to offend anyone and will not be airing any of the four ads ever again, nor will they be airing the commentary from the NFL players responding to the ads. This includes not airing the ads during the Daytona 500
Problem solved. Thanks, John.

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