Men kissing Men and other Offensive Things

It’s funny the kind of things that can offend people. Take for this instance this marvelous advert for Heinz Deli Mayo.

I found myself giggling with joy. It’s so rare to see an advert that shows a man doing anything other than gaze admiringly at a car, buy life insurance, spraying deodorant or drinking buckets of beer. Most adverts for household goods usually center around the woman, and how the products enable them to be a better mom, wife etc. If there is a man present, it is to show how easy using a particular product is.

Take a look at this fabulous advert from the 70s, where a dove tells a woman that a dishwashing liquid is as good as a hand lotion. She then begins to soap dishes and looks with glazed eyes at her hands. Yay! Now you can be beautiful and wash all the dishes at home – at the same time!

Anyhow, back to Heinz. Turns out that the commercial has annoyed some folks.

The Heinz Deli Mayo ad has been pulled after less than a week on air after viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that it was “offensive” and “inappropriate to see two men kissing”.

Other complaints include that the ad was “unsuitable to be seen by children” and that it raised the difficult problem of parents having to discuss the issue of same-sex relationships with younger viewers.

I am not entirely sure why discussing same-sex relationships is so taboo. The kids’ classmates probably have gay parents, they see people of the same sex holding hands on the street. You can probably tell them the same thing that you use to explain heterosexual relationships with. Two people like each other and kiss each other. I think what worries people is that it legitimizes homosexual relationships. Had the advert shown a man and woman expressing that nano-second kiss, not a single eyebrow would have been raised. Sigh.

15 Comments

Filed under Marketplace and All Things Current, UK

15 Responses to Men kissing Men and other Offensive Things

  1. sajith

    Now gay parents would be something… wouldn’t they?

    Was reading My Name is Red. The references to “pleasures of handsome little boys” and men kissing each other and women being almost completely out of this picture still spooks me.

  2. Maybe the idea of a brusque Italian-American being called ‘mom’ was hard to digest.

    A dash of Heinz Deli Mayo could’ve helped it go down.

  3. Gigi

    “Had the advert shown a man and woman expressing that nano-second kiss, not a single eyebrow would have been raised. Sigh.”

    You nailed it!

  4. Saw the news regarding this ‘offensive’ ad this morning and was wondering why should a ‘nano second kiss’ – as you rightly said – should attract such a lot of hue and cry. The television is bombarded with adverts that have far more sexual connotations than this one.

  5. I have always supported a woman-woman relationship…

    :-)

  6. WA

    yep totally agree, if you want nice soft hands, do more washing up! GRRRRR

  7. This is right up Daffyd’s street. I can visualise him screaming at the ASA and the complainants – homophobes!

    Surely Britain has bigger worries than Heinz product advertisements. The value of even this adverse publicity to Heinz of course is beyond estimation.

  8. ona

    let them hear us! write an email to pressoffice@uk.hjheinz.com with copy to butlerc@amvbbdo.com, Ted.Smyth@us.hjheinz.com, Nigel.Dickie@uk.hjheinz.com and Consumer.Contact@uk.hjheinz.com

    subject: Censoring of Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad

    dear mr. or mrs. i’m really disappointed, why did you remove the Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad made by BBDO only because a bunch of sick homophobes pressured you to do that? you are endorsing a homophobe agenda and i won’t buy any of your products again until you repair the damage you have done. you have lost one customer, and i’m pretty sure i won’t be the only one. have a nice day xxxxxx

    and sign the petition too: http://www.petitiononline.com/heinz/petition.html

    we are a lot more than 200 sick homophobes, and they have lost us as customers!

  9. S

    And now they have removed it from you tube as well. Anyhow, here is three cheers to the first Gay Pride that is happening simultaneously across three cities in India. 29th June 08, Sunday- Bangalore, Delhi and Calcutta will see a rainbow they have never seen before :) hip hip hurray!

  10. And here we thought that “It happens only in India.” :-p The video’s gone but I can imagine it.

  11. In general people are very good in resisting any change they perceive as leading to uncertainity. So, this is just another instance where human beings are clamoring for status quo to continue. If homosexuality is human nature then resisting that it human nature too.

    Curious Q: Are women more supportive of gay stuff than men? If yes, why?

  12. Hawkeye: I do not know if women are more supportive of gay people’s rights than men.

    I have a few women friends – typically those who are married and more particularly, who have children – who think gay people should not be allowed to have children by adoption, artificial insemination or surrogacy. When I first heard their views, I was stunned but now I secretly wish for that ultimate test of tolerance – when your children bring home someone you would not wish them to bring ;-) Yes, wicked of me … But most of my women friends do not care either way. They just want their kids to grow into healthy and happy adults not just adults of a particular sexual preference.

    Women however do tend to identify more closely with the ‘underdog’ perhaps because women suffer much more than men. Whether it is catcalls at street corners in India or discrimination in the workplace (hiring, salaries, promotions etc).

    But no firm conclusion could be drawn from such anecdotal evidence, of course.

  13. Nice post. I realized I am out of ketchup and walked to the grocers and bought a bottle of Heinz! The OA loves it.

  14. shefaly,

    Thanks. Yes I agree that there are conservative women who would not like gay things. My question was – among the set of all people who support gay rights do you thin there are more women than men?

    /* But most of my women friends do not care either way. They just want their kids to grow into healthy and happy adults not just adults of a particular sexual preference. */

    hmm.. I don’t know if I can say the same about my friends or my kids. This is a level of introspection I don’t want to get into.