Did a Cereal Giant Drop Ads Over Lesbian Character?
BY Michelle Garcia
August 22 2011 1:10 PM ET
Two advertisers have dropped their campaigns from the ABC Family hit Pretty Little Liars after one of the characters came out as a lesbian.
Last week General Mills pulled its ads after the Florida Family Association notified them that Emily, one of the show's lead characters, has been having relationships with other women. The organization also said the show's audience of primarily 12-18-year-old girls was being sent a message "that reinforces and legitimizes this homosexual lifestyle in a manner that could affect these young girls' sexual identity for a lifetime."
General Mills responded to the group's notification and later officially pulled its advertising from the show. However, a spokeswoman for the cereal giant told AfterEllen.com that the lesbian content was not the reason for the company's decision.
"We make advertising decisions based on the audience demographic reach of a program and relevance for our brands, and we make changes to our ad buys all the time," she wrote in an email. "That should not be misinterpreted. The decision is entirely based on the relevance of the show's audience for our brands, not because of the sexual orientation of individual characters."
Real estate company Re/Max pulled its ads from the show earlier this year when the Florida Family Association launched its campaign.