Kellogg's employs the question "What's for breakfast?" into a series of situations where the name of the cereal sounds like the romantic answer, "Nothing, honey." The questions surprise a rich matron when the answer comes from her butler and a waitress who thinks a customer is flirting with her.
The last vignette -- where the gay joke inevitably falls in many commercials -- is at a chuckwagon scene, where a cowboy asks that question of the cook. The five cowboys then all angrily pull their guns on the cook for thinking he called them "honey."
It is one of the most clear examples of homophobia in advertising.
While one viewer of the ad suggests that the hungry cowboys are angry that they will get nothing for breakfast, the entire commercial is based on the joke of the cereal name sounding like a romantic come-on.
The Chicago-based Coalition Against Media-Marketing Prejudice (ironically called CAMMP) protested the ad. "The commercials send a serious and dangerous message: that gays and lesbians or anyone perceived as sexually or behaviorally different are easy and acceptable targets for trivialization," the group said outside Kellogg headquarters in 1988.
Kellogg's response was that it would be overreacting if it changed the commercial or pulled it off the air and it stayed.
Ironically, over a decade later in 1998, the Kellogg Foundation awarded a grant to a youth program under the National Lesbian & Gay Task Force.