The Cheerios commercial starring a white mother, a black father and their biracial daughter is the most popular ad on the cereal’s YouTube channel. The spot began airing on national television last Monday and was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday.
In less than a week the Cheerios ad became the most popular video on the company’s YouTube page with 1.7 million views. The second most viewed commercial on the Cheerios YouTube channel only had 173,165 views at the time this story was published–and that ad was released 10-months ago.
Shortly after Cheerios uploaded the commercial featuring the biracial family they had to disabled the commenting feature on the ad’s YouTube page because of negative comments. Despite the negative (and racist) comments the company says they’re standing by the commercial.
Meredith Tutterow, associate marketing director for Cheerios and Multigrain Cheerios at General Mills, told the New York Times on Friday that the ad will “absolutely not” be withdrawn. She added that the YouTube comments would be enabled again, but she did not know when.
The commercial was produced by Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, part of the Publicis Groupe.
“It is important for us to make sure the work reflects the people we’re trying to sell products to,” a spokesperson for the agency told the Times.