These days, a company supporting the LGBTQI community can mean a lot for its customers. Have a look at the companies celebrating equality this year and what it means for them.
Companies more often than not receive backlash when they voice a political stance for or against anything. As the old saying goes, you can’t please everyone. But you can be a decent human being, which is what these labels have done.
Doritos released a rainbow version of their corn chip in the UK in 2015. The limited edition chip was created in order to raise money for the It Gets Better Project, a campaign that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.
But bad news if you wanted to buy any, the special edition sold out completely within a week.
The crisps were only available via a $10 donation to It Gets Better, and were not available in shops – but after the campaign went viral online, they sold out entirely.
So far, $100,000 has been raised for the charity.
Early last year, Oreo released a photo of a rainbow stacked Oreo with the words ‘June 25 | Pride’ marking gay pride month in America.
Although most the comments were positive there was a significant amount of backlash that was received.
The Facebook image post was instantly met by polarized opinions between supporters and critics of gay marriage, quickly escalating into a lengthy debate of more than 23,000 comments in the first 24 hours.
As of December 11th, 2016, the Facebook post has accumulated more than 297,700 likes, 90,700 shares, and 60,400 comments.
Even though the ‘boycott Oreo’ Facebook page reached a staggering 1,008 likes (compared to Oreos 42,757,619) Oreo, owned by Nabisco, continues to be the best-selling cookie in the US and is worth around US$94.3 billion.
Late last year, shoe retailer Adidas released its own LGBTQI Pride collection. The collection included rainbow splattered shoes in what they called their ‘Pride Pack’. All proceeds of the shoe sale went to Stone Wall, another pride initiative.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Adidas said that “Proceeds from all sales will go towards creating the world where every single person can be accepted without exception.”
Adidas US – headquartered in Portland, USA – scored 100 (out of 100) on the most recent Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
Converse shoes also released a Pride Pack, which featured its popular shoes in rainbow fashion. Prices for the shoes ranged from NZD$60-$100.
A spokesperson for Converse says, “while the Converse Pride Collection does not specifically support any one organization, Converse is a company committed to diversity and inclusion, as well as unleashing creativity in all our consumers. We believe all people are created equal and support our consumers to be their most authentic selves.”
In June last year, Skittles released a black and white version of their popular candy. In an announcement by the brand, Skittles said, “In honor of London Pride, the classically rainbowtastic candy has decided that only one rainbow deserves to be the center of attention.” Referring to the gay pride flag.
The YouTube video has just under 200,00 views and again, has a mixed verity of comments. Most are in favor of Skittles stance but true to fashion, unfortunately, one voiced opinion will likely be countered against by another.
In New Zealand, ANZ bank first released its GayTMs - aggressively sparkly, flamboyant editions of regular ATMs - in time for the 2015 gay pride parade. The art installations celebrated the bank's partnership with Auckland's Pride Festival. The initiative has continued this year.
Antonia Watson, ANZ's chief financial officer, the executive sponsor of the bank's Pride Network, said it aimed to encourage staff to be themselves at work.
However, she said the move also made good business sense for the bank, "given the make-up of our staff and customers".
ASB, which was the first bank to earn the Rainbow Tick, has also taken a firm stand.
After Olympic swimming legend Ian Thorpe came out as gay, the bank added a specific diversity clause making it clear that sexuality, gender identity or ethnicity had no bearing on its sponsorship arrangements.