, a company that makes at-home STD/HIV testing kits has come under fire after using Sesame Street's
Bert and Ernie in their new campaign.
that the campaign features Bert and Ernie, who have often been thought of as a gay couple, looking down at papers with Bert saying, "See Ernie, you've got nothing to worry about, everything is positive!"
A spokesperson for Sesame Workshop spoke to TMZ
and said, "The Mately ad is an unauthorised, unlicensed use of our characters. We will be contacting Mately and the appropriate parties with a cease and desist letter instructing them to take this down."
Mately have since taken down the ad from their website and Brandon Greenberg, CEO of Mately, issued a statement apologising for the use of Bert and Ernie saying, "We sincerely apologise if we offended anyone or if any images were use inappropriately."
"This was by no means part of an advertising campaign intended to tarnish the Sesame Street brand, but we recognise the issue and all versions of this image have been removed from all Mately websites and social media pages."
have previously released a statement saying that while the characters possess human traits and characteristics, they do not have a sexual orientation.
Watch | Gay hacks to improve your sex life
Meet the stereotype-smashing men of Africa’s first gay rugby club