Complaints of homophobia are brewing over the latest TV ad for Foster’s lager.
In the ad, Dean seeks advice from Australian duo, Brad and Dan, on how to deal with his friend, who has just asked him “to rub sun cream on his back”.
Dean is visibly uncomfortable about his friend’s request, as is one of the Australian pair, who proceed to give Dean advice on how to avoid looking gay during this “delicate situation”.
They say: “Only put cream where he can’t reach, between his shoulder blades, the safe zone.”
The camera cuts to a blond woman in a bikini and shorts putting up a dart board, who receives a thumbs up from one of the Australian men before they continue: “Whack it on thick mate, the last thing you wanna do is a second coat.”
They give some final pointers: “Remember Deano, the following things are not permitted: eye contact, scented candles, power ballads, and do not apply if he’s wearing budgie smugglers.”
Budgie smugglers is an Australian slang term for tight fitting swimwear.
The call ends just as Dean’s “mate” appears wearing yellow Speedos, at which point Dean looks down at him, points and says “You have to change!”
One viewer commented on YouTube that the ad “reinforces stereotypes about what it means to be a man”, and added: “This is not going to help anyone who is ‘straight’ and hangs out with straight men but thinks he might be gay.
“Men are often uncomfortable about close contact because they’re scared they might be thought gay. This fear is exactly what this advert taps into. Funny? Depends on how important you think it is that gay men should be able to respect themselves.”