Well, what do you know? I finished a delicious, nutritious bowl of Cheerios, milk and strawberries for breakfast, picked up a copy of USA Today only to find this disturbing story about a controversial commercial General Mills began airing and featured on YouTube. Who would imagine that a consumer brand since World War 2 (1941) would spark a controversy? But it did!
The ad depicts a beautiful, sweet little girl asking her mother if Cheerios is good for the heart . The mother explains that it is. The little girl then pours a bunch of Cheerios on her sleeping father's chest - believing it would make his heart healthier. So what's the controversy? The mother is Anglo, the father is African -American and the little girl is mixed.
According to USA Today, the social media response has been "fierce, nasty and unusually racist ...and poisonous." It raises the question of what reality is reflected in such response. Is it the new reality of the American family and customer colliding with the old prejudices of a by-gone era?
The ad has attracted more than 1.7 million viewers on YouTube; so Cheerios had to disable the comments section. The company noted : "We are a family brand and not all of the comments were family-friendly." However, General Mills is not bending and has no plans to stop airing the ad or to take it down from YouTube. A company spokesman explained: "There are many kinds of families, and Cheerios celebrates them all."
One marketing expert applauded: "They can't bow to this incredible ugliness and underbelly of hatred. If the father had not been black, it would have been just another spot."
In the past some have used the Bible to ban interracial marriage, but a careful review of Scripture paints a different picture. In the words of Paul Harvey, "for the rest of the story," visit my blog at http://www.steledgemarketing.com.
Please share your views on this controversy in the Comment Section below. Come join a team which believes in character (not color), potential and performance.
Great article Stephen. I have a wide range family blend. Thanks for sharing. Liked and Shared.