Lesbian couple to star in McCain TV ad after gay men faced abuse

McCain is to feature a lesbian couple in an advertising campaign depicting modern family life, months after a gay couple were subjected to online abuse for appearing in its TV ads.

The frozen food company will launch the TV ad on Friday. It features a range of real-life couples, including the dancers Kimberley and Molly, and Andy and Tara, a gold medal-winning Paralympian who is now a disability rights campaigner.

The 60-second advert opens with the question: “When it comes to love, what’s normal? Normal isn’t normal.”

It continues: “Love doesn’t care about gender, where you’re from, or what others may think. It won’t judge on ability, or so-called disability.”

The last TV ad in the campaign featured the gay couple Lee and Mat Samuels-Camozzi with their baby.

Their appearance in the 60-second advert prompted trolls to attack the couple with homophobic abuse.

The couple, who were called “sick” by one person, said they were shocked by the abusiveness of the comments on social media.

McCain stood by the campaign, saying it “celebrates real homes and [is] depicting honest, modern day family life”.

The latest ad, created by adam&eveDDB, the agency best known for its Christmas tearjerkers for John Lewis, features eight couples spanning same-sex relationships, significant age differences, mixed races and disabilities.

McCain said its advertising strategy was developed from research that shows half of the UK public do not think popular culture on TV reflects the reality of modern families.

More than 80% of those McCain surveyed said they did not recall seeing anything in popular culture that featured a family like theirs.