M&Ms perpetuate racism! Boycott Mars.
Do you know how many Red M&Ms received admittance into Harvard University last year? I'll tell you. Not one! Apparently, they don't want Redskins to soil their hallowed institution.
BTW: The Mars Company (makers of M&Ms) supplied 65% of the artillery for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
M&M’s Ditches ‘Spokescandies’ for Maya Rudolph After Backlash Over New Look
Comedian will take their place as the brand’s spokesperson and star in the candy’s upcoming Super Bowl advertisement
The brand said it believes Maya Rudolph will ‘champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong.’
By Jennifer Calfas, WSJ
Updated Jan. 23, 2023 3:25 pm ET
The M&M characters are taking a break a year after their new looks sparked controversy.
The Mars Inc. brand said Monday that its candy characters—known as “spokescandies”—will begin an “indefinite pause” from their duties. Comedian Maya Rudolph will take their place as the brand’s spokesperson and will star in the candy’s upcoming advertisement at Super Bowl LVII in February, the brand said.
“We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong,” the brand said.
Representatives for Ms. Rudolph, the comedian and actress who’s known for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” Netflix Inc.’s “Big Mouth” and the film “Bridesmaids,” didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Changes to the candy cartoon appearances stirred up debate last year—particularly the decision to swap the green M&M’s heeled boots for sneakers. At the time, the brand marketed these changes as part of their commitment to inclusion, saying the green M&M’s new look gave the character a more laid-back style for the postpandemic world. The decision drew jokes and criticism online. A Change.org petition to “keep the Green M&M sexy” generated more than 20,000 signatures.
“In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet,” the brand said Monday. “But now we get it—even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together.”
A spokeswoman for the brand said Ms. Rudolph’s new role allows the “spokescandies to step away and embrace a new path to pursue other passions.” M&M’s will share more on the future roles of these candy cartoons in the coming weeks, the spokeswoman said.
The candy characters still appear on images for the brand’s social-media accounts. In September, Mars announced the addition of its newest character, Purple, which was “designed to represent acceptance and inclusivity,” the company said. Earlier this month, the brand unveiled limited-edition packaging featuring Purple and two other female “spokescandies” to promote female empowerment, with some money from those sales going toward nonprofits.
Kimberly Whitler, an associate professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, said the brand may be stepping away from these characters to ease these debates and timed the announcement to generate positive buzz for the Super Bowl ad.
“If you take their post at face value, it appears that they recognize that they have stirred up some controversy that they would rather have not stirred up,” Dr. Whitler said. “This is an opportunity for them to try to get back to what the brand has historically been about, which is joy and fun and lightheartedness.”
The M&M cartoons have been a staple in the brand’s advertising for years, appearing in commercials and on packaging. It’s unclear how the controversy over their new appearance affected most consumers’ thoughts about the brand, said Olivier Toubia, a professor at Columbia Business School. A well-liked and real-life spokesperson like Ms. Rudolph may also be a more difficult figure to criticize online than fictional cartoons, he said.
“When you get a sponsorship like that, you’re creating associations between your brand and this person,” Dr. Toubia said. “Any positive associations that people have with the spokesperson are going to be partially transferred to the brand.”
The Super Bowl—an advertising mainstay where companies spend millions to stand out from the rest of the pack—is a few weeks away. The candy’s ad campaign for the Feb. 12 game will mark Ms. Rudolph’s first appearance for the brand, the spokeswoman said.
Write to Jennifer Calfas at firstname.lastname@example.org