"It will turn kids gay!" one side declared.
"It mocks homosexuality!" another claimed.
After a painful explaining of the joke, an official verdict shut down both sides.
In a long-running Australian ad for Maltesers chocolates, two women looking for something "naughty" to do position their sleeping boyfriends in a cuddling position and giggle and the groggy guys kiss one another — a scene that sparked controversy.
Australian TV viewers sent in several complaints about the ad, but the Advertising Standards Board defended the ad in a decision reached late last month, Business Insider reported.
"[T]he advertisement is intended to be a humorous and is a lighthearted practical joke," the board wrote in its report, dismissing complaints against the ad.
In its case file, the board notes the variety of complaints it received, including the complaint of one viewer who claimed the advertisement would "turn young people gay":
I find it very offensive that while I’m watching tv with my child that an ad with a man kiss another man to come on to try and sell chocolates just like smoking and drinking alcohol leads to young people to do these things I feel strong that advertising homosexuals is try to turn young people gay.
Other complaints claimed the ad was anti-gay, including this one:
The two women place their boyfriends in a sexual/suggestive position while they are asleep. They are seen to kiss. The two women then laugh at what they have done. This ad is offensive because it continues to perpetuate the idea that being gay or male closeness is something to be ridiculed and laughed at.
See the offending ad below:
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