In the Snickers commercial, Mr T – who played BA Baracus in the 1980s show The A Team – pulls up in a truck alongside a man exercising in tight yellow shorts and shouts: ‘Speed walking. I pity you fool. You are a disgrace to the man race. It’s time to run like a real man.’
He then forces the man to break into a sprint by taking pot shots at him with a Snickers machine gun. The commercial ends with Mr T uttering the slogan to the current Snickers campaign – ‘Get some nuts’.
Mr T spies a speed walker in the latest Snickers ad
The commercial, which premiered in the UK on July 13, was made by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO – the same agency responsible for a Heinz Deli Mayo advert withdrawn last month after showing two men kissing.
That commercial prompted 200 complaints. In contrast, the Advertising Standards Authority has received only two complaints about the Snickers advert.
However, it prompted strong protests from the U.S. – even though it was never shown on American television.
Mr T forces the man to break into a sprint by taking pot shots at him with a Snickers machine gun
The U.S. lobby group Human Rights Campaign criticised Mars – which makes Snickers – for condoning ‘the notion that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is a group of second class citizens and that violence against GLBT people is not only acceptable but humorous’.
A spokesman for Mars said: ‘This ad is the second in a series of UK Snickers ads featuring Mr T, which are meant to be fun and have been positively received in the UK.
‘However, we understand that humour is highly subjective, and it is never our intention to cause offence. Accordingly, we have pulled the Mr T speedwalker ad globally.’
Mars said the advert was intended to be humorous but has terminated the campaign
The workplace director of Human Rights Campaign Daryl Herrschaft said: 'HRC applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action.'
Meanwhile reaction in the UK was mixed amongst the gay community concerning the ban.
Website comments regarding the controversy in the UK suggested…