Last week, a sweet Cheerios commercial showing a white mom, black dad, and biracial daughter touched off an insane storm of racist backlash. Today General Mills, the company that owns Cheerios, told the Associated Press it completely stands behind its television spot, despite companies typically playing it safe when it comes to advertising their products.
A company of this size is certainly used to consumers disagreeing with its decisions, but General Mills found the comments so shockingly racist and horrible that it disabled the comments section on YouTube. Still, there are no plans to pull the spot or appease nasty Internet commenters at all. Vice President of Cheerios marketing Camille Gibson says, “We felt like we were reflecting an American family.” Certainly, there’s census data to back up the claim that more and more American families look like the one in the commercial as more and more people marry, and then have children, with someone of a different race.
And while this kind of backlash does concern companies, Cheerios and other branding experts recognize that caving to that kind of pressure can be harmful to the brand. Cheerios wants to continue its image as “the first food of children everywhere.”
Watch the commercial below: