(Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images for GAY TIMES x Skittles)
OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:06 PM – Monday, August 14, 2023
Skittles, a candy company owned by the Wrigley Company of Mars Inc. and whose famous motto is “Taste the Rainbow,” is the latest brand to face backlash over new packaging that includes the statement “Black Trans Lives Matter” and child-like illustrations, appealing to underage shoppers.
Five freshly designed candy wrappers that all celebrate LGBTQ+ pride were posted on Twitter (X) and the company’s official website.
The rainbow-colored packaging was replaced with “LGBTQ-friendly” artwork made in conjunction with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Skittles has partnered with the progressive organization for the last four years.
“WE’VE GIVEN UP OUR RAINBOW SO THAT THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY CAN SHARE THEIRS,” The brand’s official website says. “We will donate $1 per every SKITTLES Pride pack sold to GLAAD in support of their ongoing efforts to work through media to combat anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination,” another statement read.
The other newly released packaging designs depict blue and pink transgender flags, the sun and the moon holding hands while strolling on a rainbow, the word “PRIDE” in numerous colors, a cartoon of a lesbian couple with the phrase: “be generous with your love,” a mouth with the rainbow spilling out of it, and other text that says “bi, lesbian, queer, trans, ace, and gay.”
However, the packaging label that is causing the most controversy with parents depicts illustrations of young people on skateboards riding on a halfpipe, alongside scribbled phrases like, “Black Trans Lives Matter,” “Skate & Live,” and “Joy is Resistance.”
Photo credit: Screenshot from www.skittles.com/pride (red circle added in editing)
“Read that label carefully – ‘Black Trans lives Matter’ is the middle of a cartoon playground full of kids on the package. This is marketing aimed at children. Skittles are produced and marketed by the Wrigley Company, a division of Mars, In. It isn’t ‘just’ the brand that is at fault, it is the company. That would be Mars.”
Read that label carefully – “Black TransLives Matter” is the middle of a cartoon playground full of kids on the package. This is marketing aimed at children.
Skittles are produced and marketed by the Wrigley Company, a division of Mars, Inc
It isn’t “just” the brand that is at… pic.twitter.com/WzabczO47B
— Robert W Malone, MD (@RWMaloneMD) August 12, 2023
“Stop buying Skittles asap,” a Twitter (X) user wrote. “Go woke go broke. Time to boycott Skittles.”
While many parents and conservatives were outraged by the campaign, others felt unphased by the new aesthetics.
“To be fair, their slogan is “taste the rainbow,” another Twitter (X) user wrote.
Some shoppers are also wondering if the Skittles brand’s new “look” would elicit the same negative reaction from customers as the previous Bud Light marketing campaign disaster.
Bud Light’s year-to-date sales have fallen 14.5% in dollars and 18.8% in volume since its previous LGBTQ marketing campaign with transgender actor and activist Dylan Mulvaney, prompting rival beer brands to capitalize on the situation and exercise greater caution in marketing to their consumer demographic.
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