An advertisement in the UK for the Cadbury Creme Egg has faced a backlash for its brief inclusion of a same-sex kiss. The ad features a real-life gay couple sharing one of the popular treats with their mouths, part of a longer ad that highlights the varying ways that people consume their Creme Eggs (how do you eat yours?).
The ad is part of Cadbury's celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Creme Egg, which they have named the 'Golden Goobilee'.
Conservative website CitizenGo has called upon the UK’s Advertising Standard’s Agency to pull the ad off the air, labelling the kiss ‘a highly-charged sexually provocative act’. The petition claims consumers have complained that it is ‘disgusting and off-putting.
In a failed attempt to prove themselves not homophobic, CitizenGo’s petition claims that Cadbury is “clearly hoping to cause controversy by claiming that any objections must be rooted in 'homophobia', but members of the LGBT community have also expressed their dislike of this campaign."
This statement, from a website that also features petitions targeting woman’s reproductive rights and the boycotting of Sesame Street (who knows what the poor muppets did to make them angry), smacks of falsehood.
The petition really comes down to the Christian conservative beliefs of CitizenGo.
"Cadbury's are well aware of the religious significance of Easter. Therefore, they are trying to cause gratuitous offence to members of the Christian community during the most important feast in their calendar,” the petition states.
The couple featured, Callum Sterling and Dale K Moran, are together in real life and Sterling took to social media to hit back at critics.
Posting a clip of a sexually-suggestive Maybelline ad from 1984 featuring Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter, Sterling argued: "So it's ok when an advert sexualises a woman, a caucasian woman, 37 years ago even, to benefit the male gaze and make other women feel inadequate if they do not live up to this beauty standard.
"But it's not okay, in 2021, to have an advert of a multi-racial (strike one) gay couple (strike two) on your screens for 10 seconds (strike three) eating/kissing/sexualised (strike four). Does anyone see how ridiculous this is?"
Sterling said he and his partner had been flooded with positive reactions and that the love they had received totally outweighed the fear-based negative comments.
Cadbury made the only necessary move, it spoke out to defend the ad, releasing a statement that read:
"Cadbury has always been a progressive brand that spreads a message of inclusion, whether it is through its products or brand campaigns.
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."