AFRICANGLOBE – Online critics have leapt upon a Cheerios TV advert for portraying an interracial couple with a mixed race child.
The commercial for Cheerios starts with a curly-haired girl asking her mum if the product is good for your heart.
The mother responds that it is and the next scene shows the dad waking up from a nap with a pile of Cheerios on his upper chest where his heart is.
The message is in line with the company’s Heart Healthy campaign – the young girl wants her father to have a healthy heart.
The 31-second advert generated such intolerant and racist feedback on YouTube that Cheerios requested the comments section be turned disabled.
The ad, entitled Just Checking, has been viewed over two millions times since it was uploaded onto video sharing site over a week ago.
Cheerios is standing by its decision to feature an interracial family in the ad.
Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing, said it is the first time the ad campaign, which focuses on family moments, has featured an interracial couple.
“We felt like we were reflecting an American family,” Gibson said.
“The national ad will continue running as scheduled for several more months, and Cheerios is not planning any changes.”
Overall, Gibson said, the feedback has been overwhelmingly supportive.
“Consumers are actually responding very positively to the ad”, she added.
Despite the negative comments, people have supported the fictitious family.
Michael Baisden, American radio host and author tweeted: “Cheerios ad featuring bi-racial family starts firestorm of negative criticism online! When will the ignorance stop?”
Karen Finney, news anchor for MSNBC and former political consultant tweeted: “LOVE this sweet ad @cheerios, so cool to finally see a family that looks like mine in media. Thank you!!”.
By: Melissa Allison-Forbes