Whenever a marketing campaign depicts something outside of American sexual, racial, or gender norms, amateur critics are bound to weigh in with their opinions about the supposed agendas being portrayed. Recently, a Cheerios ad that harmlessly featured an interracial family sparked so much fury that the company disabled comments on the video’s YouTube page. They’re not the first to find that inclusive campaigns geared to marginalized communities incite plenty of controversy. Here are a few other great moments in advertising that sparked lots of debate when blending social and political issues with consumerism.
Swedish manufacturer Ikea’s TV spot was a groundbreaking advertisement, featuring a gay male couple. It’s pretty mind-blowing to consider this was aired in 1994. Sadly, the response was so negative that stores were forced to close due to bomb threats.