Complaints about a Kellogg’s Special K advert which briefly showed two women kissing has been dismissed by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB). According to the ad, a study by Special K revealed that seven out of 10 Australian women have an ‘I hate my body’ moment every single week.
Kellogg’s released a 30 second and 60 second version of the #OwnIt advert which showed a diverse range of individuals (body type, ethnicity, age, and more) in different situations are shown – a bride, a woman with disability, women playing sport, etc.
The complaints about the ad included:
- “The tone of the ad seemed okay where it encouraged women to have a positive outlook on life and stop being negative about their own appearance however the add was ruined where it showed two women kissing. Why it did one can only wonder perhaps it was trying to support a particular agenda (eg desensitising the public) however regardless, that physical act doesn’t have anything to do with a breakfast cereal product that anyone in our society might choose to purchase and enjoy. The ad should consider the well being of the younger generations of children and families as well as everyone else.”
- “I object to the kiss. Must we have the lesbian message shoved in our faces all the time. My seven year old boy doesn’t need that happening in his lounge room.”
- “The ad was shown during family viewing time and included two women kissing as a couple in an attempt to normalise this behaviour.”
In response to the complaints, a Kellogg representative acknowledge that some members of the public will be offended by the scene of two women kissing.
“The advertisement does not depict the scene in a way that vilifies a person or section of the community, including on account of religion or sexual preference. A scene briefly portraying two women kissing, in the context of an advertisement that celebrates the reality of female diversity, cannot be regarded as discriminating against or vilifying consumers with religious or other beliefs in a manner contrary to the AANA Code.
“We contend that the scene is appropriate and in context given the purpose of the advertisement, celebrating and championing diversity, individuality, inner strength and confidence.”
“There is no full nudity in the advertisement. All scenes are very brief, and none of the women are shown in a sexually suggestive or explicit manner.”
In its ruling the Advertising Standards Boards noted that the scene was very brief and due to the overall tone of advertisement is of confident women and there is no undue focus on this particular scene.
“The Board considered that in this instance a brief depiction of a woman kissing a woman was not sexualised and in the context of depictions of confident women and loving relationships this scene was not gratuitous or inappropriate.
“The Board noted the advertisement had been rated ‘W’ by CAD and considered that overall the content did treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience which would include children. The Board determined that the advertisement did not breach Section 2.4 of the Code.”