Interracial family in Cheerios ad sparks online backlash

Updated
A Cheerios ad featuring an interracial family sparked racist reactions, but ultimately an overwhelming positive response.
A Cheerios ad featuring an interracial family sparked racist reactions, but ultimately an overwhelming positive response.

General Mills is standing by a new Cheerios ad that features an inter-racial family, in spite of some negative Internet backlash.

The ad, uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, shows a white mother and black father talking with their daughter about the health benefits of Cheerios. It ends with the daughter having poured Cheerios all over her father’s chest—presumably because her mother told her the cereal is “heart healthy.” The final shot of the ad simply says “Love.”

Within days of the upload, the video had drawn negative reactions on YouTube—including references to Nazis, “troglodytes” and even “racial genocide,” according to AdWeek—prompting General Mills to disable the commenting feature.

“The comments that were made were, in our view, not family friendly, and that was really the trigger for us to pull them off,” Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios, told The Today Show. ”Ultimately we were trying to portray an American family. And there are lots of multicultural families in America today.”

General Mills’ decision to stand by the ad appears to be winning the company good favor as supporters begin to drown out the detractors.

On Monday, the Cheerios Facebook page was flooded with positive comments from people praising the ad, and has more than a million page “Likes” since the story over the ad broke. The original video on YouTube has nearly 2 million page views, upward of 21,000 thumbs up and less than 1,500 thumbs down ratings.

Watch the ad below and tell us what you think about it in the comments.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kYofm5d5Xdw]

Interracial family in Cheerios ad sparks online backlash

Updated