guilty pleasure

Magnum says its sorry for comparing eating ice cream to jailing gay people

Magnum ice cream says it’s sorry for that super awkward commercial it ran earlier this month that compared eating ice cream to gay people being locked in a jail cell for 10+ years.

The ice cream company faced criticism over a “guilty pleasure” ad on Spotify that featured a man with a Middle Eastern accent lamenting about how he can’t hug his boyfriend for fear of being thrown in prison for ten years or longer.

“A hug for my boyfriend,” he says. “That’s my guilty pleasure!”

Then he adds, “…Because in my country, just a simple hug with the man I love could send me to prison for more than 10 years.”


The ad didn’t go over so well with listeners.


Initially, a spokesperson for Magnum didn’t seem to understand why people were so bothered by the commercial, saying  the company merely “wanted to remind people that what is considered a guilty pleasure isn’t always what you would expect.”

And while it’s certainly admirable for a company to want to use its global platform to raise awareness to issues like the persecution of LGBTQ people in the Middle East, a better approach might have been to, say, team up with a human rights organization. Maybe donate a portion of proceeds to combating homophobia. Or make some sort of call to action other than telling people to go out and buy its product.

Now, the spokesperson tells HuffPost UK: “Magnum has a history of championing LGBTQ+ rights and Pride Month is a moment when lots of us celebrate progress. We’re sorry for any offense caused by the advert, which aimed to bring awareness to the injustices people still face around the world.”

Related: Magnum slammed for ad comparing eating ice cream to jailing gay people