Good news, gays: Coca-Cola has noticed that you’re not very happy with them right now.
After it was discovered that a bizarre marketing campaign banned the word “gay” but not “straight,” Coke has issued a pretty thorough apology. “This isn’t how the program was supposed to work, and we’ve pulled the site down until we can fix the problem,” the company writes.
Okay! Nice. The company is obviously pretty alarmed about the whole outcry, and wants to get the word out that they do not, in fact, hate the gays. We got a personal email about the apology from Global Digital Director Ashley Brown, an indication that the company is working hard to undo this particular PR problem. (Ashley is family, BTW: “Proud Georgian, husband of David.”)
We asked if the company had a statement about Russia’s gay propaganda law, and in fact they do … sort of. You can read it here, and it amounts to a general “we do a lot of good things for the gay community” message. It doesn’t actually mention the propaganda law, beyond a few sly allusions to “discrimination” So, that’s kind of vague, and could refer to any number of things. We all know what it’s supposed to mean — that they they don’t approve of the law — but falls short of actually saying so.
To their credit, Coke does in fact do a lot for LGBTs in the U.S., and in some other countries. And they helped start an organization that, in part, fights HIV discrimination in Russia.
So why, if the company is so genuinely pro-equality and anti-bigotry, won’t they come out and actually acknowledge the existence of the insanely bigoted law in Russia? Why won’t they say what they’re doing to help Russian LGBTs? After all, they’re spending millions of dollars there, and — oh, we might’ve just answered our own question.