First modification: 07/03/2021 – 21:13
LGBTIQ + pride month is over and most of the companies that had adopted rainbow colors in their logos retired them again. Measures like these opened the debate on whether brands really support the community or if, on the contrary, they are taking advantage of the situation to market their products.
Since the beginning of June, users on social networks have flooded the platforms with the colors of the rainbow and messages alluding to the month of LGBTIQ + pride. It is one of the many actions that seeks to create awareness about the struggles that the community has waged and, above all, the problems that still need to be resolved.
These campaigns have been joined from the smallest to the largest companies around the world. And while some have only adapted their logos to the colors of the flag, others have launched a variety of products alluding to the subject. Although this has been welcomed by several as an advance in the recognition of sexual diversity, it has also rained criticism.
Pedro Julio Serrano, activist of the LGBTIQ + community rescues the positive side that today brands are involved in this way with the movement. “When I started 25 years ago this was not seen. On the contrary, the companies ran from everything that had to do with the LGBTIQ + community. So I think we have made a lot of progress,” he said from the Puerto Rican capital when asked by France 24.
However, he pointed out that there is still a long way to go, adding that these initiatives are useless if they are not accompanied by actions aimed at preserving the rights of the community and attending to their needs.
For him, there are various ways to contribute to the movement, for example “giving work to trans people, non-binary people, queer people, who traditionally do not find employment because of the discrimination that exists.” He adds that he does not know that this type of inclusion is being applied in several companies.
Brands “have to advocate, not only participating in LGBTIQ + pride marches and parades to market their products, but also going to the legislature and using their power to create public policies that are inclusive and that move us closer to equity.” points out.
Companies are singled out for wanting to profit from the movement
There are a large number of companies that donate resources to organizations in support of the LGBTIQ + cause and they do so throughout the year. But members of the same community denounce that there are others that only use pride month to attract customers and generate more income.
This practice is known as “rainbow capitalism” or “rainbow capitalism”. And it may not be by chance that there are brands that view people of diverse sexual orientation as customers, since a 2019 survey by the United States Census Bureau revealed that same-sex married couples, especially those who are made up of by men, they have higher incomes than heterosexual couples.
There is also talk of the so-called “rainbow-washing”, which could be translated as “rainbow washing”, referring to the marketing techniques that politicians, companies and organizations use to wash their image by showing themselves as supporters of the LGBTIQ + cause, when in reality they are strangers this.
The independent portal Popular Information revealed that 25 large corporations that modified their logo with a rainbow and sponsored Pride parades during the month of June, donated more than 10 million dollars to the campaigns of anti-LGBTIQ + politicians in the United States, in the last two years. He also revealed that these companies have a 100% rating in the corporate equality index of the NGO Human Rights Campaign, although this measurement does not take into account political donations.
A brand “must have a position” on social issues
Alex Aldas, an expert in branding and director of a company that is dedicated to it, believes that companies should be more genuine when it comes to promoting this type of campaign. “Before there was talk of positioning, today brands must have a position in relation to their role within society,” he says.
When asked if this type of initiative is the product of citizen pressure or is it really about corporate responsibility, Aldas mentioned that “the world is becoming more aware.” “We are in the generation of ‘human marketing’, of ‘human branding’ and it is, ‘first I am a person, first I am a human being and then I am a consumer'”.
Criticisms of those who do not feel represented
The social video network TikTok has been flooded with content through which users have commented on the LGBTIQ +-themed products that are sold in different stores, and have criticized the lack of creativity of those who design them.
On other platforms such as Twitter, users have created a series of memes in which they question that, in reality, people of diverse sexual orientation do not use excessively colorful products and clothes like the ones that brands try to sell them. A satirical way of letting them know the ignorance that exists regarding the reality and tastes of the LGBTIQ + community.