Mars withdraws 'homophobic' Snickers ad after complaints

LONDON - Mars has withdrawn its latest UK ad for Snickers, featuring Mr T, after complaints that it was offensive to gay people.

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http://www.brandrepublic.com/campaign/Creative/55153/snickers-get-nuts-abbott-mead-vickers-bbdo/

Watch Snickers 'get some nuts' by AMV BBDO

The ad features a speed walker, who faces a hail of Snickers fired by the former A-Team actor, who admonishes the jogger to "run like a real man".

The decision to withdraw the ad was welcomed by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which had complained to the company about the spot.

A Mars spokeswoman said: "This ad is the second in a series of UK Snickers ads featuring Mr T, which are meant to be fun and have been positively received in the UK. 

"However, we understand that humour is highly subjective, and it is never our intention to cause offence.

"Accordingly, we have pulled the Mr T Speedwalker ad globally."

HRC workplace director Daryl Herrschaft said the ad perpetuated the notion that the gay community was "a group of second class citizens and that violence against gay people is not only acceptable, but humorous".

He said: "HRC applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action."

The ad was produced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. The firm last month saw another of its ads, for Heinz Deli Mayo, withdrawn after complaints its portrayal of a kiss between two men promoted homosexuality.

What do you think? Is the ad just a gentle poke at health nuts, or a threat to the status of the gay community? Leave your comments below: