Sobeys pulls barely legal Sweet Sixteen candies from shelves after backlash over slogan
Sobeys is pulling a Quebec candy brand from its shelves after facing backlash over a display of Sweet Sixteen candies that read "barely legal levels of sweetness."
The Canadian grocery store chain said that it removed the displays and Sweet Sixteen products from its convenience stores and gas stations in Atlantic Canada.
"We were made aware of the product marketing for Sweet Sixteen candy yesterday evening and took immediate action," spokesperson Natasha Compton said in an email to CBC.
"The marketing campaign for this product is not inline with our values at Sobeys Inc."
It’s 2020 and this is what passes for cool with candy maker #mondoux and the folks at @sobeys. “Sweet Sixteen: barely legal levels of sweetness”. pic.twitter.com/2S2tUP08xl— Joan Helson (@shesalittle) June 22, 2020
On Monday, Sobeys and the Quebec confectionary company came under fire on social media for the controversial slogan that appears to sexualize young women and teenagers.
Canadians across the country were quick to criticize what one person called "a very problematic display."
"How did an error in judgment of this magnitude make it to the floor?" one person wrote. "NO ONE said anything? How horrifying."
"Honestly. In this day and age?" another person asked. "Not even sure what to label it but Sobeys needs to get rid of it. Not on brand."
What Merchandiser thought this was ok? Seriously @sobeys Whomever deals with bringing in new products needs a fresh lesson in getting with the program. Or fired if they have a history of this.— Ryan 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦 (@GrumpyCaperMK) June 23, 2020
Bonbons Mondoux, the company in question, has been in operation since 1967; the family confectioner sells products in Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Western Canada and Nunavut.
On Tuesday, the company took to social media to apologize for the displays in Sobeys, saying that they were the result of a translation error that resulted in "unintended connotations" in English.
Mondoux has since removed the display from all stores and is working with a different marketing agency.
(PART 3) We are now working with a different marketing agency and this sort of situation will never happen again. Our entire family hopes you trust that we are taking this matter very seriously.— Sweetsixteenmondoux (@Sweetsixteenmo1) June 23, 2020
The company's French slogan — "Avec un classique, tu t'trompes pas" — roughly translates to "You can't go wrong with a classic."
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