A Sultana Bran ad featuring a goldfish has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) of denigrating gay men.
The ad shows a daughter asking her father about the breakfast cereal and a fish who repeatedly remarks that: “Sultana Bran’s got more fibre than two slices of wholemeal toast”.
The ASB provided a sample of comments from the complainant/s that read: “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.”
“It is no longer acceptable to utilise these forms of characteristics to sell products and by doing so the advertising company and Kellogg’s are continuing to contribute toward the social harm and detriment of the gay community.”
In response, Kellogg’s wrote that the advertisement “makes no reference to homosexuality”.
“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.”
The ASB found that while the fish did speak in a ‘camp’ manner, it was “not sexualised and its gender was not clear”.
As a result, the board ruled that the ad did not breach the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ Code of Ethics.
The 15 second version of the advertisement has attracted over 1.3 million views on Youtube.