A new advert by margarine giant Flora has come under heavy criticism as it compares coming out to your father to being shot through the heart.

The advert, which features a bullet, made up of the words “uhh dad I’m gay”,  flying towards a heart made of china, also features the tag-line: “You need a strong heart today”.

Playing on Flora’s long time assertion that it contains ingredients which can help consumers maintain a healthy heart, the advert has come under criticism for likening being told that your son or daughter is gay to being shot.

The margarine spread company is owned by consumer group Unilever, which was met with a tirade of criticism from Twitter users last night, as well as gay rights groups who said the advert, which appears to have come out of South Africa, was homophobic.

Many Twitter users questioned the motives behind the campaign, and vowed to boycott the brand.

Lowe and Partners in Johannesburg, reportedly put totgether the campaign, which also features another controversial advert which references the Kama Sutra.

Flora is sold in the UK, Czech Republic, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Portugal, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, and previous advertising campaigns have associated the product with wholesome family values.