A tabloid newspaper has responded to the Heinz gay kiss ad fiasco by printing a photo of two men kissing on its front page this morning.
Brighton-based One80news features the headline ‘Is This Really Offensive, Kids?’ to provoke debate and urge its readers to complain to Heinz.
“We were disgusted at Heinz for pulling their ‘gay kiss’ ad and for apologising so readily for their own ‘offensive’ imagery,” said Torsten Højer from One80news.
“We just couldn’t believe that in 2008, the sight of two men affectionately kissing really offends that many people – so we thought we’d put an image of a gay kiss out there.
“It’s well-documented that familiarity can combat prejudice, and One80news is available throughout Brighton and Hove, in bars, cafes, shops, libraries and even leisure centres – and online.
“The more people that see positive images of same-sex affection, the better.”
The newspaper reports that community leaders in gay-friendly Brighton and Hove are joining gay equality organisation Stonewall in condemning Heinz’s anti-gay decision to axe the advert.
“This ad was imaginative and represents a massive leap forwards in that it dared to represent gay parents, say Phelim MacCafferty, LGBT spokesperson for the Brighton Green Party.
“This cowardly withdrawal by Heinz reminds us that there are organised forces which have vested interests in keeping all LGBT people off the screens altogether.”
Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Brighton’s ‘gay village’ of Kemp Town, Simon Burgess, echoed Mr MacCafferty’s comments.
“I think it’s pathetic that Heinz buckled because of a few complaints about two men giving each other a quick peck. Come on Heinz, wake up. It’s the 21st century!
One80news’ campaign, dubbed ‘Heinz Hatez Gayz’ is encouraging people to call the Heinz customer careline on 0800 528 5757 and tell them: “If it isn’t Heinz, it isn’t homophobic.”
One80news is the sister publication of national gay magazine 3SIXTY and has just celebrated its first birthday. It is available for download from www.one80news.co.uk