Kellog's Retracts Offensive Illustration Depicting Lone Brown Corn Pop As A Janitor
Here's the latest in a series of instances where companies have had to retract offensive marketing after being called out on social media.
Most kids have fond memories of spooning mouthfuls of their favorite brand of cereal while glaring at the back of the cereal box. That's not by coincidence. Cereal boxes are designed to hypnotize kids. Those sugar-coated mascots are strategically placed to forge a friendly bond over breakfast, creating loyal kid consumers. That's why, when Saladin Ahmed noticed the colorful illustration on the back of his box of Corn Pops depicted a lone brown character as a janitor, he had to speak up.
The drawing on the cereal box depicted a busy scene of little yellow corn pop characters shopping at a mall. But in the middle of the drawing, Ahmed noticed one brown-skinned corn pop dressed in all blue, waxing or scrubbing the mall’s floors. It’s “a tiny thing,” he wrote in a subsequent Tweet, “but when you see your kid staring at this over breakfast and realize millions of other kids are doing the same…”
It only took five hours, for Kellogg’s to respond to Ahmed's tweet.
Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.— Kellogg's (@KelloggsUS) October 24, 2017
Ahmed responded with gratitude.
genuinely appreciate the rapid response— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
This is just the latest in a series of instances where large corporations have had to retract offensive marketing after being called out on social media. Perhaps a more proactive approach would be more beneficial. Something like having more people of color on your marketing teams? Just a thought...