For the time being we have to accept that there are still some people in the UK who find the depiction of a kiss between a same-sex couple so deeply offensive that they feel compelled to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. In fact, there are quite a few of them. This was evident in the ASA's top 10 most complained about ads of 2017.
The good news for those who are committed to cultural equality is that the UK's ASA has taken a consistent position on this issue, which has been to listen to people’s complaints but not to uphold them. In my view this is the right approach.
Looking forward to 2018, let’s hope we see even more examples of diversity being represented in smart, sensitive and authentic ways in advertising and marketing.
An advert which warrants a mention but was not on the list was the McCain ‘We are family’ ad. It challenged the concept of a ‘normal’ family and, amongst a montage of various families, showed two loving fathers and their baby. One dad was seen giving the other a peck on the cheek (gasp!) and the real life couple featured in the advert subsequently received dozens of abusive messages via social media but credit to McCain, they kept the advert running and stuck to their principles.