Actor Maya Rudolph replaces M&M’s Spokescandies.
Source: Mars (L) | Getty Images (R)
Candy maker Mars said Monday it is replacing its M&Ms Spokescandies with actress Maya Rudolph after facing far-right criticism over its mascot makeover.
The Spokescandies are a team of cartoon M&Ms mascots who have represented the brand in commercials and other marketing materials since the 1960s. Early last year, the candy brand updated the cartoons and their marketing, giving each mascot a new backstory, clothing and personality more inclusive.
The green M&M, for example, had previously drawn criticism for being marketed as too sexy, so the company swapped its knee-high boots for trainers and re-emphasised its feminist values. “Orange” became an anxious mascot, and the company added a new purple M&M meant to represent inclusivity.
The rebranding caught the attention of conservatives, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, at the time of the update and again in recent weeks, with some claiming the redesigns were another example of a liberal agenda taken too far.
“Over 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 it would destroy the internet,” M&M’s said in a statement Monday on Twitter. “Now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can polarize… That’s why we decided to take an indefinite hiatus from the Spokescandies.”
M&Ms did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
Rudolph said she will take the place of the iconic mascots just before the pivotal Super Bowl promotional event: “I’ve been a lifelong lover of candy and I feel like an honor to be asked to be a part of such an iconic brand campaign.” , she said in an interview with on Monday NBC is TODAY.
Rudolph representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mars announced in December that it would return to the Super Bowl billboard with a 30-second spot during the February 12 game. The company teased the commercial with a picture of its seven M&M characters depicted on a soccer field.
“The latest campaign expands on our focused work over the past year, but is rooted in new creative territory, and we can’t wait for our fans to see what will soon unfold,” Chief Marketing Officer Gabrielle Wesley said in a statement at the time .
Correction: A caption in this story has been updated to correct the spelling of Maya Rudolph’s name.