I always thought it was like "pretty in pink" kind of punk, but I read something that made me think otherwise. So i did some research and thought that my findings might be inconclusive, too. But with your guy's opinions, I think I, and you, were right.
Basically take the attitude out of punk rock and you have bubblegum punk.
I think it's wrong to assume pop-punk is bubblegum punk.
Anti-Flag. An example of Pop-Punk. They're popular, however I believe they still maintain a certain attitude and values system. (as well as promoting affirmative action) This is the same with quite a few of these bands everyone just labels as 'posers' because they're popular.
Now, the majority of the people who LISTEN to pop-punk and only pop-punk. Try and dress how the media portrays the image of punk and don't retain any of the attitude, or the true value/belief system that goes with it. These people are what you call bubblegum punk. And when these people decide to make bands.. then their music is bubblegumesque.
The same effect can also be gained when a corporation decides to get together a couple of teeny boppers and pays them to jump around and act/dress a certain way. ie. Jonas Brother, Hanna Montana.
My biggest pet peve is people saying bands like NOFX are bubblegum or pop-punk simply because they have a large fan base.
NOFX more specifically is 100% DIY and has stayed indie their whole career, they're punx as fux.
hmmm... That's my user name on pretty much every site... But mostly just cause it sounds cool.
When I think of bubblegum-punk I don't necessarily think of mainstream poser bitchy pop-punk stuff like blink 182 and lavigne...but more like punk-pop-sounding stuff?? Who sings "Hey suburbia" by any chance? That's kinda what I'm thinking of.