A Cadbury commercial released a month ago that featured a gay couple sharing a Crème Egg is, again, in headlines due to a petition that aims to have the ad removed. But, the authority responsible has already put that conservative hope down.
The citizengo.org petition calls on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban the commercial as it is “trying to cause gratuitous offence to members of the Christian community” over Easter.
Cadbury released the ad in question, ‘It’s the Creme Egg Golden Goobilee!’, in January by showing the many ways to eat Crème Eggs, in celebration of five decades of Crème Eggs.
The most memorable way the egg is celebrated in this spot is between couple Callum Sterling and Dale K Moran, who lean into each other as they take a bite of either end of their Crème Egg.
The petition, which draws ire from this embrace, is addressed to the chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, Guy Parker, the managing director of Cadbury UK, Louise Stigant, and addressed by Catholic campaigner Caroline Farrow.
It comes after the commercial was celebrated for its inclusion of LGBTQI+ people. However, the petition claimed that Cadbury had used a same-sex couple in the ad to “escape criticism” for a campaign that “sexually objectifies individuals” and aims to sell sex to children.
Going one further, the complaint’s author bizarrely claims: “Given that children often copy what they see on screen, the advert constitutes a form of grooming, exposing children to inappropriate and graphic sexual content.
“By featuring a gay couple, Cadbury’s are aiming to escape criticism by using the cover of ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘diversity’. Still, this sexually graphic advertisement has no place being shown on mainstream media where children can view it.”
At time of publishing, the petition has received more than 56,000 signatures.
However, the ASA has already said the ad does not break any advertising rules, with a spokesperson for the authority telling Pink News it will not be taking any further action on complaints against the advert.
In addition, another statement from the ASA dictates that if the petition were even submitted, it would be treated as a single “super complaint” and not as 56,000 individual cases.
Cadbury UK said in a statement that it had always been a progressive brand “that spreads a message of inclusion, whether it is through products or campaigns”.
“The almost kiss of a couple sharing a Creme Egg was included in the ad in the same light any other couple would have been included too,” it said. “The heart of Creme Egg is fun, light-hearted & we believe the almost kiss conveys this.”
In an Instagram post, Callum Sterling, who appears in the ad alongside his partner Dale K Moran, said he was thankful for “all the things that came into being” so that he and his partner could be a part of the Crème Egg commercial.
“Please watch the whole thing and see the positive diversity,” he writes.
“When you don’t fit into the box of being a caucasian, heterosexual, Cis gendered, able bodied human these sorts of adverts and commercials are GOLDEN and I’m so blessed to have been a part of the cast. There aren’t enough of these ads in the world.”
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The ad first aired on 4 January and celebrated the ‘lickers’, ‘bakers’, ‘dippers’, ‘eggsperts’, ‘discreaters’, and ‘sharers’ who enjoy Cadbury Crème Eggs.
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