January 29, 2023

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M&Ms pulls spokesperson in wake of right-wing outrage

Actor Maya Rudolph to replace spokespeople for M&Ms.

Source: Mars (L) | (R) Getty Images

Candy maker Mars said on Monday it was replacing its “spokesperson” M&M with actress Maya Rudolph after it faced right-wing criticism over its mascot change.

The speakers are a team of animated M&Ms mascots that have represented the brand in commercials and other marketing materials Since 1960. Early last year, candy brand animation update and marketing, Renamed each amulet with a new back story, outfit and character to be more inclusive.

the Green M&M, for example, had previously been criticized for being marketed as too sexy, so the company changed its knee-highs for sneakers and put more emphasis on its feminist values. “orange“It became a mantra full of anxiety,” the company added Purple M&Mwhich is designed to represent inclusivity.

The rebrand caught the eye of conservatives, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, at the time of the update and again in recent weeks, with some claiming the amendments were another example of a liberal agenda gone too far.

“Last year, we made some changes to our beloved speakers. We weren’t sure if anyone would notice. And we certainly didn’t think it would break the internet,” M&Ms said in a statement Monday on Twitter. . “Now we get it — even a candy bar can be polarizing… So, we decided to take an indefinite hold on the speakers.”

M&Ms did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

Rudolph said she will replace the iconic mascot ahead of the Super Bowl’s main advertising event: “I’m a lifelong candy fan, and I feel it’s such an honor to be asked to be a part of this legendary brand campaign,” she said in an interview Monday with NBC Today.

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Representatives for Rudolph did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mars Announced in December She will return to the Super Bowl ad slate with a 30-second spot during the game on February 12. The company teased the ad with an image of the seven M&M characters, silhouetted on a soccer field.

“The latest campaign expands our meaningful work over the past year but is rooted in new creative territory, and we can’t wait for our fans to see what happens,” Chief Marketing Officer Gabrielle Wesley said in a statement at the time. .

Correction: The photo caption in this story has been updated to correct the spelling of Maya Rudolph’s name.