Companies and rainbows: all just marketing?

Pride Month is celebrated in June, in particular in English-speaking and Latin countries. With parades and protests, the LGBTQ community celebrates social diversity and draws attention to continuing injustices. Many companies are presenting their logos in rainbow colours - but not in all countries. Commentators point to a lack of real commitment.

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Magyar Hírlap (HU) /

Rainbow hypocrisy

The pro-government daily Magyar Hírlap says the involvement of the multinationals is hypocritical:

“The big companies have put rainbow-coloured filters over their social media profile pictures only in those countries where homosexuality is not punishable. These companies are also present in countries where it is punishable, but hey, profit is profit.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Companies are no heroes

It's naive to expect social commitment from companies, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung points out:

“In the Middle East, where homosexuals face the death penalty in extreme cases, the profiles remained unchanged. Now companies are being accused of double standards on social networks: if they were truly committed to the cause, they would also fly the rainbow flag in the Middle East. That's presumptuous. No one can expect Western companies to deliberately damage themselves. And of course companies also show solidarity with the LGBTIQ+ scene because they want to increase their sales. ... One can view the ostensible activism on the part of the big companies as pandering. But at least they show their commitment to tolerance in the West. The bottom line is that always seek to optimise their profits, not to be heroes of society.”

Irish Independent (IE) /

Disneyfication dilutes the message

Now everyone is jumping on the Pride Month bandwagon, columnist Larissa Nolan criticises in The Irish Independent:

“Hijacked by banks and multinationals keen to advertise their rainbow credentials - and politicians who want a round of applause for being inclusive in 2021 - many in the gay community feel it has sold out. Disneyfication is commercialising of something until it is simplified, controlled and safe. With Disney itself now jumping on board the Pride train, its Disneyfication is officially complete. I believe Pride should be better celebrated, for a shorter time, which would make it more impactful.”