With Pride season comes a sea of rainbow profiles and products – but who really profits? And how?


On the one hand, it can be a great feeling to walk through a city centre during Pride season and find yourself surrounded by rainbows and affirming, Pride-loving slogans…

But which of the big companies are just jumping on the bandwagon for their own good, and which are actually making a difference?

As Rosie Hewitson eloquently said for The Independent earlier this month:

“We should never forget that the first ‘Pride’ 50 years ago was a riot protesting police raids on the Stonewall Inn, but nowadays it can feel as if Pride the protest is being subsumed by #pride the corporate scheme, to the detriment of the LGBT+ community it claims to serve.

“Despite this, I still think that in the right circumstances the queer community can benefit from corporate involvement with LGBT+ organisations and Pride events.”

Singer Duncan James (yes, the one from Blue) at the unveiling of The Fair Bottle

Fairy’s new Limited Edition Bottle of Fair (pictured) is one of the campaigns to have popped up for Pride 2019. On first glance, it may appear to be another “let’s slap a rainbow on it” situations, but the brand have said, and we quote: “The limited edition FAIR range will be available from leading retailers from July 2019. A donation of £50,000 will go to akt [Albert Kennedy Trust].”

The team behind Fair(y) have also created a film (above), are – and let’s make this clear – supporting the DIVA Women’s Stage at this year’s Pride In London, and have released The Fair Report which looks at the attitudes and perceptions of British parents and has published the following, LGBTQI-related numbers:

  • Less than a third (30%) of British parents surveyed said they think families with LGBTQ+ members are fairly treated in 2019
  • Seven in ten (69%) said they would support their child if they were in a same sex relationship and wanted to have a child
  • When asked what would help to create equality for families with LGBTQ+ members, education in schools was the top answer (59%)

DIVA got in touch with Fairy’s Senior Communications Manager for northern Europe to see what their stance was on why they’ve created the campaign:

“As a company we strive for a world free from bias,” Scott Popham told DIVA. “This latest step in our journey for inclusion celebrates the importance of recognising the challenges that some people still face for acceptance.

“It’s through our partners such as DIVA and Pride In London we can use our collective voices to highlight the progress that still needs to be made and ultimately drive change.”

Okay, so it seems like they’re earning their rainbows… (we’re just glad they decided to drop the “y” before adding the rainbow. #awks)

“I don’t mind if brands profit from Pride – as long as the LGBT+ community does first”

– Rosie Hewitson for The Independent, June 2019

On the other hand, there’s also the infamous M&S “LGBT” sandwich (they stuck some avocado in there) which Twitter et al went to town on not so long ago, accusing the company of cashing in, the sandwich of being a “gimmick” and the £10,000 donation not substantial enough a donation to balance the profit they’d make for themselves.

Perhaps the mistake that many companies who do care and want to help make, is that the gestures they make (or the products they peddle) don’t come across as being genuine.

So if you genuinely want to support LGBTQI people and the organisations that work full-time to do so, why not make a donation directly to your chosen charity? Or, make sure that it’s clear that all (or the majority of) profits from a Pride product/campaign will go to LGBTQI causes.

Yes, the first Pride was a riot – but big companies also have big power to influence both large swathes of the public and those deemed to be running the place too.

If big companies and their employees do decide to support Pride – they need to make sure their reasons for doing so are genuine.

Just think before you slap a rainbow on it, yeah?

Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.

divadigital.co.uk // divadirect.co.uk // divasub.co.uk

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