Advertising watchdog dismisses complaint against Kellogg’s Special K ad that shows two women kissing

Special K ad

The advertising watchdog has dismissed a complaint against a Kellogg’s advertisement that shows two women kissing for less than a second.

The ad, which aims to promote the company’s Special K brand, encourages women to be happy with their own bodies.

“Seven out of 10 women have an ‘I hate my body moment’ every single week,” the voiceover in the ad says.

“That’s a lot of women looking in the mirror wanting to change something. Boobs, skin arms, legs, hips, hair. We believe all women can change something more important than the size of their bums. We can change our perspective.”

The ad then encourages women to be nicer to themselves and be “perfectly imperfect”.

There is a montage of women from all different backgrounds in various situations, such as jumping into a pool, playing rugby and eating a bowl of Special K.

The ad also shows a heterosexual couple kissing, before cutting to a shot of two woman sharing a kiss.

Each shot lasts for less than a second.

“Proudly own it all,” the voiceover says, before Special K’s logo appears on the screen with the hashtag “OwnIt”.

One person complained to the Advertising Standards Board, arguing it is inappropriate to show two women kissing during “family viewing time”.

“The tone of the ad seemed okay where it encouraged women to have a positive outlook on life and stop being negative about their own appearance,” the person wrote.

“However, the ad was ruined where it showed two women kissing. I object to the kiss. Must we have the lesbian message shoved in our faces all the time. My 7-year-old boy doesn’t need that happening in his lounge room.”

However, Kellogg’s hit back at the claims, telling the advertising watchdog the ad is consistent with prevailing community standards.

“We contend that the scene is appropriate and in context given the purpose of the advertisement, celebrating and championing diversity, individuality, inner strength and confidence,” Kellogg’s said.

The company also noted the scene is incredibly short and the actors are fully clothed.

The Advertising Standards Board agreed with the cereal maker, ruling the ad was not gratuitous or inappropriate. Because of this, the advertising watchdog dismissed the complaint.

Tamara Howe, marketing director for Kellogg’s Australia, said in a statement to SmartCompany the company is very proud of the “OwnIt” campaign.

“We are pleased with the decision by the Advertising Standards Board confirming the OwnIt advertisement did not breach the code,” Howe said.

“Special K will continue to inspire women to ditch the doubt and own it.”


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