A recent ad for Flora, which features a heart about to be shattered by a bullet in the shape of the words ‘dad, I’m gay’, has been pulled by Unilever.
The ad, which is believed to have been created by Lowe and Partners South Africa, has faced a backlash on Twitter, with people calling it homophobic, vile and an abomination.
Flora, owned by Unilever, promotes its margarine as helping consumers maintain a healthy heart, as is again seen in this advert which suggests 'you need a strong heart today'.
A Unilever spokesperson told The Drum: “This advert was prepared by an external agency in South Africa and was not approved by anyone at Unilever. The advert is offensive and unacceptable and we have put an immediate stop to it.
“Unilever is proud of the support that our brands have given to LGBT people, including our recent campaign for Ben & Jerry’s on equal marriage.”
Other ads in the series include a bullet reading ‘Kama Sutra page 48’ and ‘President Malema’.
Lowe and Partners has not yet responded to a request to comment.
UPDATED: Lowe and Partners Johannesburg managing director Sarah Dexter said: "I would like to unreservedly apologise for this campaign and the unintended offence it has regrettably caused."