The print ad, which was created for a Unilever campaign in South Africa and has the strapline ‘You need a strong heart today’, has been criticised as being homophobic on social media.
It shows a china heart on a pink background, with the words ‘Uhh, Dad I’m gay’ flying towards it in the shape of a bullet.
Lowe and Partners created the ad. Lowe Johannesburg’s managing director Sarah Dexter wrote on Facebook: “I would like to unreservedly apologise for this campaign and the unintended offence it has regrettably caused. We have requested the immediate removal of this work from all media.”
A statement from Unilever said: “This advert was prepared by an external agency in South Africa and was not approved by anyone at Unilever. The advert is offensive and unacceptable and we have put an immediate stop to it.”