While this is technically old news, I just heard about it for the first time today through an article relating to advertising considered to be offensive. The commercial in question here that I am writing about is what I found to be a hilarious commercial for Snickers candy bars that uses Mr. T to poke fun at the supposed lack of masculinity when it comes to speed walking.
The commercial was widely regarded in the humorous spirit the ad was intended to be viewed. According to the Advertising Standards Authority of the UK the ad barely ruffled feathers and a spokesperson for Mars, the parent company of Snickers candy bars, the ad was meant to be funny and was positively received in the UK. If the commercial is designed to be funny and the intended audience of the commercial does find it funny, what is the controversy?
The controversy is that some American organizations took great offense to the commercial and have caused such a ruckus about it that Mars has opted to permanently retire the ad and no longer show it anywhere in the world. Keep in mind the commercial was made for the UK market, it wasn’t shown in the United States at all prior to the controversy. The parent company of the advertising agency responsible for the ad received an open letter challenging the ad in a US advertising industry title and the Human Rights Campaign declared the commercial offensive to the gay, lesbian, bi, transgender community by implying that the speedwalker was a homosexual and the attack on the speedwalker both verbally and with Snickers Bars being shot out of a machine gun, is essentially a hate crime.