The Huffington Post UK says that Magnum Ice Cream really does not know how to gay bait. They attempted to create, I guess an edgy commercial? An inclusive message of togetherness? Whatever they were going for, Magnum’s marketing department really thought it was a good idea to create an ad where the illegality of homosexuality in a country is compared to the guilty pleasure goodness of… eating a Magnum ice cream…?
Users of Spotify’s UK services were treated to a wonderful commercial courtesy of Magnum. The ad features a voiceover from a man fearing persecution in his home country for being homosexual. He says:
“A hug for my boyfriend. That’s my guilty pleasure. Because in my country, just a simple hug with the man I love could send me to prison for more than 10 years.”
And then Magnum tells you to buy an ice cream bar, which is… Do they mean, “Don’t be gay, try an ice cream?” Or is the message: “We understand exactly how you feel fearing for your life for who you are and love: we eat expensive ice cream bars!”
Backlash was swift because Twitter never lets anything slide:
I know most of y'all probs have Spotify premium so don't hear the ads, but really unsure about the Magnum ad that's talking about homosexuality being a "guilty pleasure" in countries where homosexuality is illegal, like thanks for the awareness but also like not okay
— Kyle Flynn-Davies (@kflynndavies) August 2, 2019
An ad for #Magnum ice cream bars just popped up on my #Spotify and it is the cringiest/funniest gay baiting ad ever. A foreign accented man laments how dangerous it is to hug his boyfriend in his country, but he won't get arrested for eating a Magnum! pic.twitter.com/S6WdzW9p51
— Christa Blackmon (@TheOdalisque) August 2, 2019
Just heard an ad that (in short) was a guy saying "My guilty pleasure is a kiss. I like kissing men. Kissing men can send me to prison for 14 years in my country. Pleasure should never be guilty. Like Magnum ice cream" NOPE. NOT THE SAME MY DUDES.
— Jessica Wynn 🏳️🌈 ♊ (@jesswynn93) August 2, 2019
Magnum then apologized for this completely ridiculous choice which is truly just mind boggling from a plethora of different angles. A spokesperson initially told HuffPo that they “wanted to remind people that what is considered a guilty pleasure isn’t always what you would expect.” But then they circled around to a full apology because don’t try to explain it:
“Magnum has a history of championing LGBTQ+ rights and Pride Month is a moment when lots of us celebrate progress. We’re sorry for any offense caused by the advert, which aimed to bring awareness to the injustices people still face around the world.”
I think it aimed to sell ice cream to the gays, but too bad because everyone knows the gay ice cream is Ben & Jerry’s or Big Gay Ice Cream. The next time that Magnum wants to gay bait for some cash money, they just need to feature a muscular dude eating ice cream shirtless. Rub some caramel on him or something. Keep it simple!