Snickers pulls TV advert in Spain after being accused of homophobia

Spanish influencer Aless Gibaja in a Snickers advert. Credit: Twitter/mariomnts/Snickers

Snickers has apologised and pulled a TV advert in Spain after it was accused of homophobia.

The advert features Spanish influencer Aless Gibaja, who is at a beach bar with a friend where he asks a waiter for a "sexy orange juice with vitamins A, B and C".

The waiter gives him a Snickers ice cream. After taking a bite, Mr Gibaja turns into a bearded man with a low voice.

"Better?" the friend asks. "Better," the bearded man replies.

Snickers' slogan then comes across the screen: "You're not yourself when you're hungry."

The 20-second video was widely shared, with social media users accusing Snickers of insulting gay men.

The LGBT State Federation tweeted in response to the advert: "It is shameful and regrettable that at this point there are companies that continue to perpetuate stereotypes and promote homophobia. If you need some training for next time, here we are, Snickers."

Snickers Spain has apologised for any "misunderstanding" that may have been caused.

Snickers Spain has apologised for the TV advert Credit: PA

In a statement posted on Instagram, the chocolate brand said: "At the Snickers brand, we take the rights of equality and inclusion very seriously and we believe that anyone has the right to show themselves as they are.

"Therefore, from Snickers we want to apologise for the misunderstanding that our new advertising campaign may have caused.

"At no time has it been intended to stigmatise or offend any person or group. In this specific campaign, the aim was to convey in a friendly and casual way that hunger can change your character.

"Again, we regret any misunderstandings and, in order to avoid spreading a message that could be misinterpreted, we will immediately proceed to remove the campaign."

The TV advert has also been criticised by Spain's equality minister Irene Montero.

She tweeted: "I wonder to whom it might seem like a good idea to use homophobia as a business strategy.

"Our society is diverse and tolerant. Hopefully those who have the power to make decisions about what we see and hear in commercials and TV shows will learn to be too."

The advert comes just a month after 24-year-old nursing assistant Samuel Luiz died after being beaten near a nightclub in a suspected homophobic attack.

Luiz's death sparked protests in Spain.

In May, five gay men were injured in three separate attacks during a single weekend in Barcelona, according to gay rights group Observatory Against Homophobia.

In the most serious incident, a man who was attacked on a beach needed facial surgery.