Umlaut Friday

September 27, 2013

Boicott Barilla

September 27, 2013

This is why I will never purchase Barilla pasta again.

Guido Barilla, who controls the fourth-generation Barilla Group family business with his two brothers, sparked outrage among activists, consumers and some politicians when he said he would not consider using a gay family to advertise Barilla pasta.

“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company,” he told Italian radio on Wednesday evening. “I would not do it but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others … [but] I don’t see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family.”

Asked what effect he thought his attitude would have on gay consumers of pasta, Barilla said: “Well, if they like our pasta and our message they will eat it; if they don’t like it and they don’t like what we say they will … eat another.”

A day later he apparently had been talked to by either the bean counters or lawyers (or both).

The Barilla chairman issued a statement saying that he was sorry if his remarks had caused offence and that he had only been trying to draw attention to the “central role” played by women within the family.

“I apologise if my words generated misunderstandings or arguments, or if they offended the sensibilities of some people,” he said.

So he’s a sexist anachronism too. Wonderful. Yeah, I’m the one in the household that is most likely to default to making a pasta dinner, genius.

And no, I’m not buying your retrenching because your words were exceptionally clear the first time, Guido. Walking it back now and pretending you didn’t mean what you said is what is even more insulting to me, your occasional previous customer.

[Guido] went on to discuss gay rights, saying that he “respected everyone” and was in favour of gay marriage, but against gay adoption.

Nice try. Clearly, you do not respect gay people. So you are totally full of stuff and nonsense on this one. Again, which makes for the additional charge of insulting my intelligence.

Sorry, but I have other pedestrian box-pasta to choose from at the market. And I will choose elsewhere.

Attention other competing pasta companies! My consumer dollars are now up for grabs to whichever of you launches the most touching and diverse Family Dinner styled ad campaign. Hint, the first one should probably be a gay couple. One of them obviously an ethnic Italian archetype of some sort would be bonus.