Ben Summerskill, head of UK gay rights group Stonewall, has slammed Heinz for pulling its Deli Mayo advertisement, saying the company has insulted a broad base of gay consumers to appease a few vocal right-wing Christians. Writes Summerskill, in the Guardian:
“Any nod at all to the very existence of homosexuality might be enough to have Mary Whitehouse twitching in her celestial bathchair, but the Heinz peck broadcast last week had not even been shown in front of the children the ad is claimed to have upset. (The Deli Mayo it promotes is so unhealthy that Heinz is not allowed to advertise it during children’s programmes.) And while Heinz’s decision to withdraw the ad might be seen by them as an easy way to palm off 200 fundamentalist Christian complainants, it seems to have been made under the quaint impression that it will cause no offence to Britain’s 3.6 million lesbian and gay consumers. Or any of their friends. Or families. Or colleagues. It also seems to have been made mindless of the impact it will have on Heinz’s lesbian or gay staff, or graduate recruitment programme. Do young people nowadays really want to work for a business so demonstrably out of touch with the way we all live now?”
Summerskill also said he hopes gays and lesbians will stop purchasing Heinz products.