Party City Super Bowl Ad Calling Gluten-Free People ‘Gross’ Backfires

Party City's Super Bowl ad didn't go over well after people expressed outrage over the commercial, which calls people with gluten-free diets "gross."

Party City is probably regretting its Super Bowl commercial right about now after getting hit with backlash for the ad that refers to people who eat gluten-free as "gross."

The ad aims to highlight Food Network star Sunny Anderson's inflatable snack stadium, but consumers are focusing on a different, less-appetizing aspect of the commercial.

In the clip, two women stare at Anderson's snack stadium, contemplating the massive tray of snacks, which is positioned next to the significantly smaller tray of gluten-free options. 

"Do we even know anyone like that," one of the women asks, scrutinizing the gluten-free snacks.

"Tina," her friend responds. 

"Oh gross — yeah," the first woman replies. 

After initially airing Monday night, the ad was slammed by viewers. Many of its critics cited the ad's insensitivity toward celiac disease, a life-threatening autoimmune disorder that triggers the body against protein gluten. 

Party City has since apologized for the ad. 

"We recognize that we made an error in judgment by running the recent Big Game commercial, which was insensitive to people with food allergies," a statement reads. "We have removed the commercial from our website and all other channels, and sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused."

The released statement also went on to clear Anderson — who addressed the ad on her Instagram — of any blame, explaining that the food guru did not take part in the "creation of this commercial in any way."


Please read?? I'd like to thank @partycity for handling this swiftly and with care.

A post shared by Sunny Anderson (@sunnyanderson) on

Additionally, Party City will be making a donation in support of Celiac Disease research. 

They may have missed the mark, but at least they are quickly and actively trying to rectify the situation and offer a bit more than a generic apology statement with their pledge to donate.  

Banner / thumbnail : Flickr, Mike Mozart

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