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Magnum ad promoting marriage equality cleared by ad watchdog

A Magnum Ice Cream ad celebrating the marriage of two women has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Board after a complainant said it promoted “lesbianism during family time”.

Unilever’s ‘Pleasure is Diverse’ spot shows a young woman preparing for her wedding day before being walked down the aisle by her father to meet her wife to be.

The complainant wrote: “Promotion of lesbianism during family viewing time. I know this will not be taken seriously as ramming this down our throats now happens daily.”

Unilever Australia rejected the complaint, pointing out the ad fell within rating category C – general unrestricted – which can be broadcast at anytime other than during pre-school programs, and said the married couple kissing was in line with prevailing community standards “which treat gender and sexual preference fairly, impartially and tolerantly”.

“The complainant may regard homosexuality and homosexual acts as being contrary to his/her religious or ethical beliefs,” Unilever told the Board.

“The advertisement, in particular the wedding and kissing scene, is not portrayed in a humorous over-the-top way, it was filmed in a cinematic way and shows a serious depiction of a wedding ceremony.

“Consumers viewing the advertisement are not being prejudiced or treated or portrayed unjustly or unfairly by the imagery in the wedding scene.”

Unilever also disagreed the wedding scene and kiss was sexually suggestive or inappropriate.

“The name of the product appears at the end of the advertisement together with the words ‘#pleasureisdiverse’ and ‘Magnum for pleasure seekers,'” they added.

“Viewers will understand the message that while everyone, including same sex couples, can enjoy the pleasure of eating Magnum Ice Cream, same sex couples would also enjoy the pleasure of getting married.”

The ad watch dog considered the complainant’s concerns about inappropriate conduct and promoting lesbianism, however, said including a same sex couple was not in breach of the Code.

“The Board noted that the advertisement depicts a same sex marriage which is not currently legal in Australia but considered that it is not the Board’s role to say whether a particular issue or scenario can or should be depicted in an advertisement,” the ASB added.

A decision from the ASB also found the advertisement treated the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to its audience.

The complaint was dismissed.

The ad, which is running globally, was created by LOLA MullenLowe Madrid.

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