Not On My Oreo, Say Gay Opponents via Facebook

When it comes to the images we consider American, we can all come up with a litany of them, from apple pie to July 4th fireworks. We’d probably be comfortable throwing Oreo cookies into that mix as well. Most of us have childhood memories of dunking the iconic cookie into milk and wiping chocolate crumbs from our lips. But in the last couple of weeks, some Oreo fans became upset when the venerable brand, which has a considerable social media presence, shared an image on Facebook.

The photo depicted an Oreo packed with 6 layers of different-colored creams. The image, which was designed to echo the rainbow flag of the gay pride movement, was posted to celebrate the first anniversary of New York’s legalization of gay marriage.

While it’s garnered nearly 300,000 likes and triggered a petition to parent company Kraft to make the cookie shown an actual product, it also collected more than a few negative comments denouncing the company’s support of the movement. The conversation (currently clocking in at more than 59,000 comments) was, at times, heated, between gay pride supporters, their opponents, and those who couldn’t figure out what the big deal was.

What do you think about brands using social media to support social causes, particularly those with the potential to trigger a negative backlash? Smart social media strategy? More trouble than it’s worth? Somewhere betwixt and between?


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