A slogan intended to sell mac and cheese has elicited a furious reaction online, with people accusing the company of predatory behavior by sexualizing a product popular with children. Kraft said its "Send Noods" campaign "encouraged adults to send free noodles to loved ones to provide comfort and make them smile." It was a tie-in with National Noodle Day last week, BuzzFeed reports. In a video launching the campaign (the video is no longer up), a former Saturday Night Live cast member made the noods/nudes pun hard to miss. "To be clear, I'm not advocating you send nudes to anyone," Vanessa Bayer said. "Send noods, not nudes." Parents posted that the ads could encourage children to send nude photos. "If you’re going to use children in your advertising then you should NEVER have advertisements like your noods commercial," one said, per the Guardian.
"I do not want my boys growing up and seeing a commercial where they joke about the exploitation of children!" said an Instagram user, one of many "angry moms" who responded, per BuzzFeed. Others took advantage of the backlash by spreading the QAnon conspiracy theory of a global pedophile ring, using its talking points and hashtags. "We're all trying to save our kids from you grooming monsters!" one poster wrote. The company said it just wanted the social media campaign to drive people to send its product to family and friends. "In these strange times, people are in need of extra comfort," the video said. And 20,000 boxes were delivered, Kraft said. Now that National Noodle Day is past, a spokesperson said the campaign is over, and Bayer's video has been taken down. (Read more Kraft Foods stories.)