M&Ms ‘spokescandy’ social media backlash sees new characters withdrawn

The first-ever all female limited-edition packs come as the next chapter in our newest character Purple’s US-debut, and will feature our three female characters - Purple, Brown and Green – on the packs, with purple, brown and green lentils within

M&Ms has been hit with a US consumer backlash against its newly-introduced ‘spokescandy’ characters that have been branded by some American national media observers as ‘woke’ publicity, sparking thousands of online social media posts, writes Neill Barston.

Parent company Mars was prompted to hastily withdraw its latest series of its flagship brand featuring new all-female Purple, Brown and Green cast, which had attempted to appeal to younger generations.

In the company’s words, it set out to praise women ‘flipping the status quo’ in progressing their careers, but a sharply negative reaction from the consumers and media observers has forced the business to u-turn, and pause its launch. It has instead turned to US comedy actress Maya Rudolph as an alternative spokesperson.

The issue even made a Fox New TV discussion, with presenter Tucker Carlson, known for his conservative views and continued support for former president Donald Trump, noting that the ‘Woke M&M’s are back again’ in a withering assessment of the new initiative, which the company has defended, with the initial launch this month seemingly generating some positive responses.

In posting a tweet on the issue, which has so far been viewed nearly 50 million times, and drawn more than 20,000 comments, the business said the spokescandies would be taking an ‘indefinite break.’

Its social media statement read: “America let’s talk. In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn’t think that it would break the internet. But now we get it – even a candy’s shoes can ben polarising. Which was the last thing that M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together.”

The social media reaction to the decision from M&Ms proved notably divided, with some questioning whether the business should have retired the new characters so quickly in light of negative reaction. Among many comments, Twitter user, ‘Stephanie’ said: “If you actually needed a cartoon piece of candy to help you feel special and “included” in the first place, seek help immediately,”

Another user added: “What you need to do is introduce more Bowie M&Ms. Put the SpokesBowieM&M in platform boots, give it a guitar, and put the lightning flash on its face. It can sing M&Mage Daydream.”

It is uncertain as to whether the company will revive characters in the wake of the significant reaction against their development.

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