Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Stupid sponsor idiots suffer PR nightmare

This is a very inspiring piece that shows now how LGBT people can band together to help those of our brothers and sisters being repressed and mistreated in countries such as Russia. As it's turning out, it seems the sponsors had no idea of how powerful an online campaign can become. Now they're in the Gulag Games up to their necks and there's no turning back. They've said nothing and done nothing to support our human rights cause, and now the bomb is going off in their faces. Good fuckin job. 
McDonald's, meanwhile, has surrendered a hashtag meant to cheer on American athletes, #CheerstoSochi, which was taken over by LGBT activists. It's been used by people around the world -- translated into Japanese, German, French and Russian -- to highlight Russia's repression and the McDonald's Corporation's sponsorship of the Sochi games. Ronald McDonald has been turned into an icon of hate, while Proctor & Gamble is being accused of supporting a different kind of cleansing than its soaps and detergents advertise. And there is much, much more to come. 

Olympic sponsors were warned. Last August the Human Rights Campaign urged the Olympic sponsors to take specific actions in light of Russia's "gay propaganda" law. The group listed actions the companies could take, including very clearly condemning Russia's anti-gay law, putting pressure on the International Olympic Committee, supporting the Russian LGBT community publicly and putting "marketing and creative advertising resources to use -- helping to build awareness and demonstrate support for LGBT equality in Russia and globally." 

The companies did virtually nothing. And in The New York Times today both Coca-Cola and McDonald's responded to the ensuing PR nightmare by continuing to offer only tepid support for "human rights" while glaringly failing to slam Russia's anti-gay law. 

What's clear from the companies' initial responses to the social media campaigns -- thinking they could fight off the activists, only to completely cave -- is that the sponsors had no idea what the consequences would be when HRC warned them. The first warning sign should have been last summer's launch by LGBT activists of the boycott of Stolichnaya vodka. People argued about the merits and whether or not Stoli was actually Russian, but that was all beside the point: The campaign went international, a shot across the bow, raising the issue of Russia's brutality dramatically. more


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