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Pasta Wars :: Bertolli Responds to Rival Barilla With Gay-Friendly Ad

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Sep 30, 2013

It's been nearly a week since Barilla's president, Guido Barilla, made international headlines for saying he wouldn't use same-sex families in advertising and for condemning same-sex adoption. A number of activists have called for a boycott against the world's largest pasta company, and, in the wake of the controversy, competitors have shown their support for the LGBT community through clever ads.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, officials from the Bertolli pasta company uploaded a new ad to their Facebook page, with the caption "Sauce for all." The image shows pastas of the same shape holding hands, as well as pastas of different shapes embracing.

"We just wanted to spread the news that Bertolli welcomes everyone, especially those with an empty stomach," a rep for Orca im Hafen, Bertolli's social-media agency in Germany, told AdFreak.

As of this writing the image has 827 likes and several positive comments.

"What you give is what you get, Bertolli - you'll be getting lots of new customers," one Facebook user wrote. "Wonderful! Thank you from a regular customer and a believer of equality for all!" another said.

One user points out to a commercial from 2009 by Bertolli and Logo. The clip shows a man daydreaming about dancing with a sexy Italian waiter before his partner snaps him out of it and they enjoy some Bertolli pasta.

Last Thursday, Barilla's president made waves when he appeared on an Italian radio show and said, "I would never do an advert with a homosexual family... if the gays don't like it they can go an[d] eat another brand. For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company. Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them."

He also commented on same-sex adoption: "I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose."

In response to the comments, officials from the Buitoni pasta company posted a similar LGBT-friendly ad on their Facebook Friday, the day after the anti-gay remarks, with the tag line "Pasta for all."

Watch the Bertolli commercial below:


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