Snickers in Spain has pulled a controversial TV advert that was heavily criticised for being homophobic. The 20-second commercial shows Spanish influencer Aless Gibaja transform into a bearded man with a low voice after eating a Snickers ice cream. The prime-time ad shows Aless Gibaja flamboyantly order an orange juice and winking at the waiter as an embarrassed friend looks on.
The video went viral this week, with some calling for a boycott of Snickers. Snickers commercials with similar story lines have aired on British TV with little to no uproar and have featured stars such as Sir Elton John and Dame Joan Collins. But the ad sparked intense backlash in Spain, with one critic saying he wasn’t sure if Snickers was “advertising ice cream or conversion therapy”. The advert unleashed a wave of accusations on social media that the brand was insulting gay men. The chocolate brand has now apologised for any “misunderstanding that may have been caused” by the film. This comes weeks after Spain was rocked by the fatal beating of a young man in an alleged homophobic attack. In 2008, a Snickers advert that featured the A-Team’s Mr T calling a speed walker a “disgrace to the man race” was pulled after accusations it was offensive to gay people.