Two pasta companies have come out in support of the gay community in response to rival brand Barilla’s recent homophobic public relations disaster.
Guido Barilla, chairman of Italy’s top-selling Barilla pasta unleashed an international firestorm last week when he said that he would never produce a gay-friendly advert for the company and that he was against gay adoption.
He added that if gay people didn’t like it, they could eat another pasta.
Other pasta brands quickly grabbed the opportunity and have stepped up to nab LGBT consumers who may stop buying Barilla products in protest.
Bertolli pasta posted a tongue in cheek image depicting ‘same-sex’ pastas hand-in-hand on its Facebook page. It announced in Italian: “Love and pasta for all!”
A representative for the company told Adweek “We just wanted to spread the news that Bertolli welcomes everyone, especially those with an empty stomach.”
Adweek also noted that Bertolli had previously produced a gay inclusive ad four years ago (see below).
Buitoni USA also ran a similar image on its Facebook page that states “pasta for all”.
Meanwhile, Barilla has released an apology video in a desperate bid to do damage control.
In it, Barilla says that he has always respected “gays and their families” and that it is “clear that I have a lot to learn about the lively debate concerning the evolution of the family”.
He also promises to “meet representatives of the groups that best represent the evolution of the family, including those who have been offended by my words”.
For many, the apology may be too little, too late.