A goldfish with a campy voice that appeared in an ad for Kellogg’s Sultana Bran last year has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) after complaints it parodied gay men.
The ad features a father and daughter scenario who discuss the memory retention of goldfish while eating the breakfast cereal. The family’s goldfish then repeats the fibrous merits of the cereal in a campy, high-pitched voice. Check out the offending ad below:
However, people complained that the fish’s campness vilified gay men and perpetuated myths about them.
One complainant wrote: “By utilising the camp voice and tones the advert and advertisers have perpetuated the stereotypical characteristics of gay males that have been criticised over the last decade…and contributing to the denigration of the LGBTIQ community and in particular towards gay men.”
However, the ASB found that there was nothing to suggest the fish was gay nor was there any reference to homosexuality. As a result, it found the ad had not breached the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ Code of Ethics.
In its findings, the ASB found: “The goldfish was not depicted, nor given features or movements, which were homosexual in nature. Further, the advertisement made no reference to homosexual relationships.
“There was no innuendo or further suggestion of anything other than a distinctive voice. The character depicted was not intended to be homosexual.”