A Guide to Defying Rainbow-Washing - Carney
The Daily Carnage

A Guide to Defying Rainbow-Washing

Pride Month is officially here, and we’ve already been giving you the skinny on all the lovely, rainbow campaigns we’re seeing. The thing is, it’s not enough to participate. Consumers want allies and advocacy outside of June. Brands need to put their money where their rainbow logos are.

Some examples of brands doing just that:

  • Procter & Gamble: This year, they released a landmark study with GLAAD, “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media,” and featured lesbian moms with a transgender child in their Pantene ads.
  • Pepsico: With their brand, Bubly, they hosted the year-round “Drag for All Flavors” showcase of talent from people of color, drag kings and queens, and transgender artists.
  • Citi: The first bank to launch a version of Mastercard’s “True Name” initiative in the U.S., allowing trans and nonbinary people to use their self-identified first name.

How to Avoid Rainbow Washing:

Get Educated: There is an intersectionality of culture and semiotics that has a huge potential for brands to engage with on personalized levels. Make LGBTQ+ education an ongoing commitment for your company and MarCom team.

Hire LGTBTQ+: Use a predominantly queer team to develop queer campaigns (makes sense, right?).

Get Involved: Partner with LGBTQ+ nonprofits, advocacy groups, and projects to fuel a year-round narrative with groups such as GLAAD, GLSEN, The Trevor Project, It Gets Better, Our Family Coalition, The Transgender Law Center, and PFLAG. Brands can impact their own community by sponsoring local queer spaces.

Go All the Way: Many brands launch LGBTQ+ campaigns in progressive cities. Advocate in markets where the work will make people uncomfortable.

Read the full piece on MediaPost for more information and ideas.


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