Honey Maid in the hot seat
Honey Maid produced a television commercial to promote the hashtag #thisiswholesome and featured loving families eating their harmless little food, but because an interracial couple and a gay couple were featured loving their children, not everyone was pleased, and they were flamed on Twitter, stating that these types of couples are not, in fact, wholesome.
Further, the One Million Moms group spearheaded a letter-writing campaign against the ad, stating in their Facebook group that “Nabisco should be ashamed of themselves for their latest Honey Maid and Teddy Graham cracker commercial where they attempt to normalize sin. This commercial not only promotes homosexuality, but then calls the scene in the advertisement wholesome.”
Potato, potatoe, right? Not really. Honey Maid had a choice – they could take down the ads in response to the angry tweets and Facebook comments, they could ignore the negativity, they could call the angry people homophobes and bigots, or they could respond with kindness.
Without spoiling their response too much, here it is in full:
Companies have a choice today
After OkCupid protested Firefox CEO’s anti-gay marriage stance by blocking all OkCupid visitors on Firefox, the CEO stepped down over his controversial views.
In today’s society many support gay marriage as a way for devoted couples to fully express their love and gain appropriate rights, but others strongly protesting it, expressing that they feel the nation’s innocence is being lost.
In that mix are companies, be they solopreneurs to massive corporations, and every nuanced moment in every ad, tweet, or blog post, now constitutes taking a stand for or against something. Because it has finally become unpopular to stand against a person for their sexuality, companies are depicting LGBT people in ads to appeal to more consumers (since hello, LGBT folks have money as well) – a corporate sales tactic, yes, but also a softening of our society on the topic.
Professionals have first amendment rights and may exercise them at will, and if you truly believe in one side or the other, you must be prepared for the fallout either way. Honey Maid got flamed, but also saw a massive amount of positivity, so the way they handled this criticism is how we hope others communicate their own position – with love, not hate.
If you or your company stand against a sexuality different from your own, it is your right to say what you wish, but in today’s softening culture, it is more risky than a company standing for the full spectrum of sexuality.