Cadbury is defending its choice to feature a gay couple sharing a creme egg in its latest campaign.
The ad was to mark the 50th anniversary of the creme egg or the "Golden Goobilee", which was showing all the different ways people ate the chocolate treat.
In one particular scene two men, played by a real-life couple Callum Sterling and Dale K Moran, dance together before sharing a creme between their mouths while the voiceover says, "sharers? We're down with that."
The scene caused controversy online with more than 20,000 people signing a petition hoping to ban the advert.
"Exposing children to sexualised content constitutes a form of grooming. It is well-known that children will often copy what they see on the screen," the petition read.
But not everyone agreed with the petition, with Twitter user Jamie Jones reminding people of a previous chocolate company ad which showed an affair between a human woman and an M&M.
"People losing their minds over two men kissing over a creme egg but have no problem with a woman cheating on her husband with an M&M?" Jones wrote.
Comedian Sue Perkins shared her memories of another bizarre ad for a chocolate treat.
"I spent my childhood watching a woman in a bathtub fellating a Flake. Jus' saying," Perkins posted to Twitter.
Sterling responded to the backlash he and his partner faced over their onscreen kiss. In an Instagram post, he said the love he and Moran received totally outweighed the fear-based negative comments.
"So it's OK when an advert sexualises a woman... to benefit the male gaze and make other women feel inadequate if they do not live up to this beauty standard,' he wrote. 'But it's not OK, in 2021, to have an advert of a multi-racial (strike one) gay couple (strike two) on your screens for 10 seconds (strike three) eating/kissing/sexualised (strike four). Does anyone see how ridiculous this is? Like actual LOL," Sterling said
In a statement to Ad Age, Cadbury said they were proud of the Golden Goobilee advert which celebrates the many ways that everyone can enjoy a Cadbury Creme Egg.
"Cadbury has always been a progressive brand that spreads a message of inclusion, whether it is through its products or brand campaigns," Cadbury said.
After concerns the campaign breached UK COVID-19 regulations, the company said rules and regulations were followed on set.
"The actors featured in the film were from the same household, so they were egg-static to share a delicious Cadbury Creme Egg together! We also ensured that social distancing and stringent hygiene measures were taken when shooting the new advert," they said.