Unilever won’t take responsibility for the homophobic Flora ad
Unilever, the company that owns Flora margarine has pulled its controversial homophobic ad and claims that it was never approved.
The advert, which suggests that having a child coming out as gay is equivalent to a bullet to the heart, has led to global outrage.
Unathi Mgobozi, Unilever’s External Affairs and Media Manager, has now stated that the company was not aware of the South African ad for the international margarine brand.
“This advert was prepared by an external agency in South Africa and was not approved by anyone at Unilever,” said Mgobozi.
“The advert is offensive and unacceptable and we have put an immediate stop to it.”
It is unclear how an unapproved advert was allowed to be published and it appears as if the advertising agency will take the rap for the PR disaster.
Sarah Dexter, Managing Director of Lowe and Partners Johannesburg, which created the advert, issued an apology late on Monday.
“I would like to unreservedly apologise for this campaign and the unintended offence it has regrettably caused,” said Dexter on the company’s Facebook page.
“We have requested the immediate removal of this work from all media,” she added.
Jon Gabony commented on the page that the “apology is insufficient to the point of insulting” and demanded that the company investigate how the advert was allowed to be published in the first place.
Others called for the company to make some kind of show of good faith, such as a donation to an LGBT organisation.
The ad depicts a ‘heart’ made of ceramic china over a pink background. A bullet with the words “Uhh, Dad I’m gay” is shown heading for the heart.
The ad, presumably punting the benefits of Flora margarine when it comes to heart disease, states: “You need a strong heart today.”