M&M's Brouhaha Was Indeed a Super Bowl Ad Stunt

No, the spokescandies are not actually being replaced because they're too 'woke'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2023 12:18 AM CST
Updated Feb 4, 2023 12:10 PM CST
Yup, M&M's Brouhaha Was a Super Bowl Ad Stunt
M&M's spokescandies characters are in the M&M's Times Square candy store in New York City on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. In a widely shared social media posting on Monday, Mars said it was taking an "indefinite" pause on using the spokescandies.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

When M&Ms announced it would be replacing its "spokescandies" with Maya Rudolph because the candies had become too controversial, some bemoaned the fact that the candy company was apparently giving in to the likes of Tucker Carlson, who complained about the spokescandies being too "woke" after they got a makeover last year. But others mused the whole thing could just be a publicity stunt building up buzz in advance of a planned M&Ms Super Bowl ad, and the New York Times reports that M&Ms is now out with a new statement indicating that second group of people may be right. (And the Times' story led to other outlets, including the Takeout, pointing out that they knew it all along.)

"Rest assured, the characters are our official long-term spokescandies," an M&Ms rep wrote in an email to the newspaper. The rep added that "the iconic M&Ms characters are in fact spending some time pursuing their other passions" in advance of the big game, but that the brand's Super Bowl ad will indeed feature the resolution of the storyline and put the spokescandies back "right where they belong at the heart of the brand." The rep seemed to imply that Carlson and his ilk won't be happy: "We’re confident that fans who have embraced the M&Ms brand purpose and the refreshed characters launched in the past year will be pleased." Still, some experts tell the Times they think M&Ms could have handled this whole thing better, rather than pretending to backtrack on its modern makeover. Meanwhile, the M&Ms website has been rebranded to "Ma&Ya's." (More M&Ms stories.)

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