The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s eighth annual Corporate Equality Index will be released this week, and it will show an unprecedented 337 major U.S. businesses earned the top rating of 100 percent, up from 305 last year – despite the economic downturn. Several companies have already circulated press releases announcing their perfect scores, including Subaru of America, Barnes & Noble, JetBlue, American Airlines, and CarMax. You can download the entire 2011 edition here.
Posted in Observations
Tagged American Airlines, Barnes & Noble, CarMax, Corporate Equality Index, gay employees, gay friendly companies, GLBT employees, HRC Corporate Equality Index, Human Rights Campaign, JetBlue, Subaru of America
This ad from Coca Cola, a component of the company’s World Cup promotion series in Egypt earlier this summer, pushes some boundaries with its homoerotic references. The ad, meant to demonstrate the bottle’s new twist off lid, is causing somewhat of a stir for a few reasons.
The most obvious being that the ad was created for the highly conservative Egyptian market, where the subject of homosexuality is very taboo. Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, but there are regulations against it, and there are no openly-gay bars in the country to speak of.
Secondly, this ad is out of the ordinary for Coca Cola. Despite being a progressive, global company (scoring 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index), a quick search on CommercialCloset.org shows no evidence Coca Cola has ever produced a gay-themed commercial. After the criticism McDonald’s received for airing a gay-friendly commercial in France, it was brave for Coca Cola to move forward with the Egyptian ad.
While I’m not entirely sure I understand the point the commercial is trying to make (if the twist off cap is so convenient, why does he need his neighbor’s hand to open it?), I definitely give Coca Cola credit for having the cajones to produce the commercial to such a conservative audience.
Posted in Advertisements
Tagged Coca Cola, Coca Cola gay ad, Coca Cola gay commercial, Coca Cola GLBT, Commercial Closet, gay Coca Cola, gay Coca Cola commercial in Egypt, gay Egypt, gay Egypt commercial, homoerotic Coca Cola commercial, homoerotic Coke commercial, homoerotic reference in advertising, HRC Corporate Equality Index, Human Rights Campaign
Some preliminary findings from the expansive 2010 Out Now Global LGBT Study will be released this week, and the results suggest that corporations worldwide have more to gain than lose through ‘public displays of affection’ towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) customers and staff. According to Echelon, initial results show the powerful gay consumer market – accounting for 6% of all sales worldwide – will choose brands that support GLBT customers with visible, well-targeted marketing campaigns.
“After ‘coming out’, LGBT people in 2010 are now well advanced in the process of ‘coming in’ – into the mainstream of society in many ways,” says Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now – a global LGBT marketing specialist agency. “There still exists levels of discrimination and misinformation directed against LGBT people – but this new research reveals a clear trend,” says Johnson. “Gay consumers switch brands to support companies that support LGBT customers and staff. This is highly significant – and valuable.”
This news comes on the heals of Target and Best Buys’ highly publicized support of anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Rob Emmer. This move has enraged gay activists and has company shareholders worried. The retailers’ ill-advised political contributions will no doubt cost them dearly. The Human Rights Campaign has demanded the two companies make an equal contribution to that organization’s cause. Neither has ponied up, but Target Chairman and Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel did issue a half-hearted apology yesterday. Better late than never I suppose.
Posted in For Marketers, Observations
Tagged 2010 Out Now Global LGBT Study, Best Buy, Best Buy anti-gay, boycott Best Buy, boycott Target, Echelon, gay advertising, gay advertising campaign, gay consumer, gay marketing, gay marketing campaign, Human Rights Campaign, Ian Johnson, Out Now Report, Out Now Study, Target, Target anti-gay, target gay consumers