‘The goldfish was not depicted, nor given features or movements, which were homosexual in nature,’ cereal brand says
A Kellogg’s ad featuring a forgetful goldfish was accused of vilifying the gay community.
The Sultana Bran ad, which aired in Australia, shows father and daughter having breakfast.
The girls asks her dad whether it’s true goldfish have a three-second memory.
It then cuts to the goldfish, who swims in his bowl and discovered ‘Sultana Bran’s got more fibre than two slices of wholemeal toast’, three times in a row.
Some people took offence at the goldfish’s voice, which has been described as stereotypically camp.
The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) received a number of complaints, geared towards the fish’s behavior.
‘By utilising the camp voice and tones the advert and advertisers have perpetuated the stereotypical characteristics of gay males that have been criticised over the last decade,’ one of the complaints read according to Mumbrella.
‘And [the advertisers are] contributing to the denigration of the LGBTIQ community and in particular towards gay men.’
In response to the complaints Kellogg’s released a statement saying the fish was supposed to highlight the cornflakes’ fibre content ‘in a playful and humorous’ way.
‘The goldfish was not depicted, nor given features or movements, which were homosexual in nature,’ they said.
‘Further, the advertisement made no reference to homosexual relationships. There was no innuendo or further suggestion of anything other.’
But the ASB ruled the ad was not homophobic because ’in the context of a humorous scenario of a goldfish forgetting what it has just said and repeating itself, the depiction of a talking fish with no identifiable gender is not negative or demeaning to any person’.
Kellogg’s generally has an LGBTI-friendly reputation.
They publicly applauded the SCOTUS landmark ruling making same-sex marriage legal in all US states, and their most recent UK ad features a gay couple.