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Mars Inc. boycott
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Mars Inc. promotes beating and killing gay men. This is simply appalling.

I sent the following letter to Mars Inc:

This is regarding your recent ads featuring depictions of men attacking other men because they suspect them of being, or merely acting, homosexual.

These ads are disgusting and socially irresponsible, and it's even worse that your spokesperson excuses their content by saying that they are aimed at the core marked of "18 to 25 year old males". It is precisely this demographic that is most receptive to encouragement to beat and kill gay men.

Until a widely-publicised and unambiguous apology is issued, I am no longer a customer of Mars Inc. or Effem Inc. (Mars' Canadian division). Previously I enjoyed Twix, M&Ms, Snickers, Mars bars, Bounty, and 3 Musketeers. I will no longer be purchasing these, nor will I be silent when a friend or family member purchases these. I will also be informing companies that receive sponsorship from Mars/Effem that they are allying themselves with a sponsor that promotes and advocates violence against homosexuals.

Please consider any response to this carefully, as a weak PR-spinning reply is exactly the wrong response. Substantive action is necessary to right this appalling wrong, not empty words.

Yours sincerely,

A list of Mars Inc. products can be found at Wikipedia. M&Ms, Twix, Mars bars are among them.

Too bad they're such complete asshats. My gaming group was going to start using Mini M&Ms to track the various D&D 4e combat statuses. No more deep-fried Mars bars for me now, either.

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How appalling :( I sense someone has an agenda and happens to be the ceo of a company.


*jaw drops*

That is *sick*. I just ... bloody hell, people who watch TV actually put up with this stuff? Yep, no more Mars Inc. products in our house.

The most repulsive thing about this to me is the deliberate re-affirmation of the expectations of machismo from males. The damage those expectations do to women and anyone who doesn't adhere to hetero male norms is well understood by most (I think... I hope... maybe I'm being naive here) but that 18-25 male American-football-watching demographic is completely blind to the fact that those expectations are incredibly damaging to *themselves*, forcing them to mold themselves into these artificial man-bots of constructed masculinity, constantly in fear of the (potentially violent) reactions of all the other man-bots should they act in a manner that's not perceived as "manly".

THIS is a manifestation of the patriarchy that some folks (not you, love) are so fond of mocking me for blaming. This is the work of the patriarchy that would encourage the mocking and denigration of my partner and male friends - who are, for the most part, straight, even! - for knitting, baking, growing their hair long, doing housework and caring for their children instead of watching football or boxing or NASCAR and buying 6-blade disposable razors.

OK I'm going to stop ranting and send a letter to Mars. And hope to hell that Cocoa Camino and Green & Black's don't start putting out retarded ads, or I'm in serious trouble.

Thanks for adding that. Yeah, it definitely goes beyond homophobia, but I doubt the execs would be able to appreciate the simple message I sent, let alone the nuances of patriarchal oppression of women via men, and of non-conforming men.

Well I laid it out for 'em real simple-like.

RE: Green & Black's

... they are owned by Cadburys which had a boycott called against them a few years back over allegations they supported companies that were torturing Muslim inmates in Iraq.


... I imagine if we look enough, we could find a reason not to buy any product. Until then, I will not buy Mars bars more due to my waistline than my view on their current marketing strategy.

Good point - I agree that if we look enough we'll find a reason not to buy pretty much any product. Call me biased against poor maligned Corporate America but I have a hunch that the bigger the company producing the product the more likely that is, and the more heinous and wide-reaching the effects of the manufacturer's evil. Therefore, I think henceforth I will hope that our many fine local small-business chocolate producers are not run by raging bigotted assholes :-D

We have to pick and choose our fights, because unfortunately everyone's an asshole, and yet there is stuff that even the most dedicated anti-capitalist needs to buy. Probably many of the local farmers who I patronize at the farmer's market are responsible for the ill treatment and unsafe transportation of imported farm labourers that has been making headlines lately, and since I think that sort of exploitation is reprehensible I ought to chat them up about the issue at their stalls before making my next purchases. I'll do so.

But the kind of misanthropic antics that Mars Inc. are up to here is at the very root of many of society's other problems: pretty much all violence and hate can be blamed on the soul-killing trap of the gender binary and its close cousin, the ideology of biological determinism. Ie, the patriarchy. Therefore, this particular fight is of great importance to me, and so I will boycott Mars Inc.

Whether you agree or not, mellis :-)

Wow. This hurts my brain. The really sad part is I don't doubt that certain homophobic "test audiences" did find the ads funny.

No more skittles and starburst for Eva!

One more reason to cut junk food out of my diet. What asshats.

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I want to know how Mr. T, of all people, get to be the arbiter of All That Is Manly. The message that speedwalking is gay and unmanly would come through loud and clear no matter who was on the truck, but why Mr. T?

Apparently he's attached to their current "Get Some Nuts" advertising campaign. It makes it even more unlikely that they'll change direction soon, because the implication that modern men are emasculated and need a chocolate bar with peanuts in it to regain their manliness is central to the campaign.

Now, only if Mr. T would turn his Gatling on the advertising execs who let this campaign idea pass. Maybe they should pair up with Lipton for some "hilarious" advertisements all about teabagging.

"Foo'! Don't be dippin' that tea bag like a Nancy! Use the new Lipton Powerwasher SteepMaster 3000!"

I vaguely respected Mr. T before. It makes me a sad bunny.

The jibbuh-jabbuh was fun at times. Now, not so much. Mr. T should probably retire gracefully or join professional wrestling.

oh ... my ...

I would be forced to buy that product

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