Kraft Zesty Salad Dressing Ads Get Million Moms' Panties in a Bunch

Have you seen the new Kraft Zesty salad dressing ad campaign? Like so many other products mostly bought by frazzled women trying to balance work, family, and sleep, they feature a little harmless beefcake to go with your greens.

The commercials show the "Zesty Guy" making some of his favorite recipes for you ladies. He melts butter with his smoldering gaze, he cooks some hot Italian sausage, he kneads and slaps pizza dough. At some point, his shirt comes off. Sometimes his pants. All of the commercials invite you to "get zesty." There is as much nudity in these commercials as in an ad for Fruit of the Loom underwear. Plus, they're clearly tongue-in-cheek (and about as sexy as a basket of kittens).

But some people have to be party poopers. And there are no bigger buzz kills than One Million Moms, who chose Kraft as their new target. Because salad dressing is, apparently, the Devil's work.

One Million Moms, by the way, has about 57,000 Facebook followers -- a wee bit short of the goal stated on their website, "We are searching for one million moms who are willing to join the fight for our children." The group is a faction of the American Family Association, founded by Donald E. Wildmon of the First United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, in 1977 as the National Federation for Decency. The name was changed to American Family Association (AFA) in 1988. The AFA claims to have 2 million online "supporters" and 180,000 subscribers to its newsletter.

In their latest call to action, the One Million Moms were offended by People's "2-page ad featur[ing] a n*ked man lying on a picnic blanket with only a small portion of the blanket barely covering his g*nitals. It is easy to see what the ad is really selling. A person has to look closely to see the item the company is marketing because the salad dressing bottle is so small next to the male model, picnic basket and other food items. There is also a small Kraft logo in the upper corners with the words 'Silverware Optional - Let's Get Zesty.' The website is listed in the bottom corner." Editor's note: One Million Moms spell "naked" and "genitals" with all those asterisks.

I reached out to Kraft Foods to see if the company's goal was to corrupt mankind through condiments. A spokesperson sent the following reply: "Our Kraft Dressings "Let's Get Zesty" campaign is a playful and flirtatious way to reach our consumers. People have overwhelmingly said they're enjoying the campaign and having fun with it."

The Moms want you to email the Kraft Company people to tell them to end their "Let's Get Zesty" campaign. Clearly their message isn't working because various messages on their Facebook pages are kind of awesome, including, "You know who else wants everyone to be 'fully covered'? Islamic clerics."

This isn't the first time One Million Moms have gone after food companies. In 2011, they protested Ben & Jerry's for its Schweddy Balls ice cream, which was named after the Saturday Night Live skit starring Alec Baldwin.

I suggest an alternate campaign. If you don't mind or even -- gasp -- like having a shirtless man hawk salad dressing, send a "Zestygram" to everyone you know -- including the American Family Association at [email protected] (you can also post a Zestygram on the One Million Moms Facebook page). Maybe after getting a few million Zestygrams, the Moms will get a sense of humor -- or at least a life.

In the meantime, here's some hot Italian sausage:

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss