M & Ms tells customer it’s a ‘family’ brand

Check out this post from a customer on M & Ms’ FB page:

I’m sorry, but I’m confused… Yesterday I received an e-mail from you stating that you could not print my message of “Effing Luv U” on my personalized order for a Valentine’s gift for my husband due to the “family-nature of your brand.” But the family-nature of your brand supports advertisement such as this!? MY order was for my husband only, not an advertisement for millions to see.

An adult woman is not permitted to send a sexually suggestive message to her husband, but this ad is appropriate for the ‘family-nature’ of the  M & Ms brand?


Or this?


Or this?


Or this?


M&Ms’ hypocrisy reminds me of Miss America contestants getting punished when nude photographs are discovered, public breast-feeding banned as obscene, or Howard Stern complaining about Lena Dunham’s nudity on “Girls.” Sexuality is widely accepted in our culture in specific and contrived ways that are often degrading to women. Selling gender stereotypes to kids is what a “family-brand” should refuse to do.

If you’re going to argue that kids aren’t the market, children are attracted to animation. You can debate whether that’s natural, conditioning, or a mix of both, but anyone who has a child knows her eyes go to cartoon characters like a magnet. That’s why the U.S. government banned Joe Camel.


If a company is going to use cartoon characters to sell products, not to mention a self-described “family brand” whose product is candy, it shouldn’t promote sexism in its advertising.That’s bad for kids. This mom won’t be buying any more M & Ms. I hope you join me.

Please Tweet or go to M &Ms Facebook page #NotBuyingIt





2 thoughts on “M & Ms tells customer it’s a ‘family’ brand

  1. Hi Cat,

    I’m miffed at myself, I had no time to get this out so in one piece, so edited, added, and reposted. Yes, this one is best! Sorry about that.


  2. Hi Margot,
    I am a bit miffed at you for the M&Ms content over the last few days. Not because I disagree, but because you basically reposted the same content. Not that you’re obligated to provide quality content on a regular basis but you seem to sometimes have a string of posts that restate the same points. I will say that this is probably your most effective and concise post on this topic. I especially loved the sentence “Sexuality is widely accepted in our culture in specific and contrived ways that are often degrading to women”.

    On an unrelated note, I find that ad with the green M&M in the snow highly disturbing because I have no idea how I’m supposed to interpret it to the human analogue. If the green shell is supposed to be clothing, why does she wear it over her face? If it’s her skin, what is attractive about peeling the skin off of your face? I say this not just to go off on a random tangent but because I think it highlights how illogical it is to try and sexualize M&Ms in the first place.

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