Magnum has offended the tastes of conservatives with an advert criticised for "promoting lesbianism".

While the image of an attractive woman biting into a tasty treat is a well-worn advertising trope, a scene depicting a pretty brunette feeding an ice cream to her same-sex partner it was all too much for one outraged viewer.

An extract of the official complaint, published by the Advertising Standards Boards, simply reads: "Promotion of lesbianism during family viewing time. I know this will not be taken seriously as ramming this down our throats now happens daily."

But the board threw out the complaint after Magnum's parent company Unilever successfully argued that "in today's society, it is not inappropriate to show gay intimacy"- whether or not it offended some people's religious and ethical sensibilities.


"The advertisement, in particular the wedding and kissing scene, is ... filmed in a cinematic way and shows a serious depiction of a wedding ceremony," the company said in its submission.

"It portrays the message for consumers that marriage is a bond between two people who love each other, irrespective of the sexual orientation of the partners."

"We note that the board has been considering complaints about advertisements depicting
same sex kisses and has consistently found these kinds of advertisements to not breach the code," Unilever said.

"The kiss is a celebration of the couple's marriage, similar to kisses that can be witnessed at any wedding, but it is not particularly passionate and does not lead to further kissing or intimacies."

The board dismissed the complaint and ruled that "in the context of an advertisement featuring a wedding, it is not gratuitous or inappropriate to show the wedding being sealed with a kiss".

It said that while "some members of the community might be uncomfortable with images of women kissing women ... the depiction of kissing in the advertisement is brief and not sexualised or shown to lead to further intimacy."

The board also noted that while same sex marriage was not yet legal in Australia, it was not its role to say whether it should be depicted in an advertisement.