The Barilla controversy has been all over the Internet.
Briefly, pasta magnate "Guido Barilla" made some politically incorrect, off the cuff statements, stating he would not feature gay families in his commercials, and that if gay people didn't like it, they could buy someone else's pasta.
Which a lot of people said, OK, they WILL buy someone else's pasta. Apparently Sr. Barilla's marketing department didn't have the meatballs to handle the bad publicity, and had Barilla Gorilla make some half-ass non-apology apology stating, more or less, he has nothing against gays, just they shouldn't be allowed to adopt, and his company knows that the family is centered on women. Apparently he has never heard of Lesbians, and the ham-handed PR was kind of amusing to watch. So lots of people said, that's not going to convince them to buy his corporation's pasta.
It's pretty obvious Sr. Barilla is a Neanderthal, and even his backpedalling was inept. I saw several websites stating Barilla pasta - and other products, prepared meals, pasta sauce - suck. I've bought a fair number of boxes of Barilla pasta and jars of their pasta sauce, over the years. They are not bad, but not the top of the line, either.
It's possible to get boycott fatigue. We have to pick our battles. For me, it will be just as easy to buy another product - there are lots of brands, lots of choices, and the costs are not that different. I actually like the imported rougher surface pastas better - they hold on to sauce more effectively. It's easy to choose a different box in the grocery isle. Not a big deal. In a month, there won't be a scintilla of Barilla in my pantry. Just don't want the reminder. Maybe next year they'll be in a gay pride parade with a Barilla flotilla, to re-build their image.
Meanwhile, Bertoli pasta used a great opportunityto capitalize on Sr. Barilla's neanderthalism -
i wonder how many average pasta buyers will be able to make a distinction between Barilla and Bertoli?
Bertolli's advertisement is cute, funny, and probably makes good business sense.
The ad's cute. Thanks for keeping us up to date on this.
Wow, moving too fast for me to keep up!
Sr. Barilla is contrite. He's also remorseful and penitent.
So maybe now I can have a bowl of Barilla spagetti after all.
Things move fast these days. Sometimes.
"We accept his invitation not to eat his pasta."
~ Aurelio Mancuso, president of gay rights group Equality Italia, told Italian news agency ANSA.
I have a feeling that boycotts to those who reveal anti-gay values hurt businesses, as do support for those businesses who take stands in support of gay rights help them.
"the estimated consumer spending of the gay and lesbian community rings in at $900 billion.
"Why send messages that may alienate that market?"
~ Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania told CNBC.
Joan, from the almost immediate turnaround of Sr. Barilla, I think the idea of a boycott was highly effective. In this case, it's so easy - just pick a different box of essentially the same product, same price, same aisle and section of the grocery store.
Given Barilla's contrition, I don't want to be too harsh. This now seems like one of the fastest and most thoughtful, responses to a planned boycott, that I've ever seen.
So what would gay pasta look like?
Probably like the gay candy I saw in Newhope, lots of little phalluses and vaginas, possibly in clusters.
Or 6's and 9's ...
Barilla continues damage control.They've set up a diversity board. David Mixner is on it.
I wonder if they will back down on the whole issue that started the controversy. That would mean featuring gay families in their pasta ads.
Let's keep an eye on Barilla to see if they include gay couples in their adv.
Remember Barilla = Bar + garilla, the homophobe.
Sure as the world, I would come home with Barilla. Gee whiz, I can't remember!!