LGBTQ+ Supporting Brands Aren't Phased By Budlight Boycott - Sponsorships Rose or Stayed Flat For 78% of US Pride Organizers

New data collected by the worldwide network of Pride events, the InterPride, revealed steady support for Pride Month among corporations.

The data is encouraging, given that there has been a noticeable rise in opposition to pro-LGBTQ+ marketing strategies.

Despite the opposition, almost 78% of US Pride organizers said that corporate sponsorship either rose or stayed flat compared to 2022.

The remaining 22% reported a decline in support, however, according to a report published by NBC News.

LGBTQ Continues to Fight Scrutiny

During the past 12 months, there has been a strong change in pace, where diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives came under general assault.

Anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment has been picking up, leading the Human Rights Campaign advocacy group to announce a state of emergency last month.

According to its statement, 2023 has seen over 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills become law. Along the way, a number of companies that openly supported the LGBTQ+ community faced scrutiny.

The one that was hit the worst this year was Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Bud Light and a myriad of other beers and drinks. The firm has slowly become more supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, mostly in its branding.

Its change in stance heavily impacted consumer confidence, and the company soon felt a sharp drop in sales as conservative-leaning consumers judged its partnership with a transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Dylan Mulvaney’s Budlight Ad

Even though the partnership was rather minimal with a simple promotion video and a special one-off can they sent to Mulvaney celebrating her transition, a large portion of Bud Light customers were outraged.

At the same time, many progressives decided that the beer company did not offer enough support during and after the backlash, so the company which tried to sit on two chairs ended up with no supporters.

Another company that found itself in a difficult situation was Adidas, which suffered social media opposition for a similar ad.

The company released its Pride 2023 swimwear collection, with a male-presenting model advertising a one-piece bathing suit. The company found itself under fire as the critics criticized it for not labeling the bathing suit as unisex or advertising it as an LGBTQ+ offering and called it pandering.

LGBTQ Community Receives Rising Corporate Support

Some firms made moves to support the LGBTQ+ community that were actually successful.

For example, the retail company Kohl’s announced its Pride merchandise selection, which consisted of throws, tops, and several other items. The company further noted that it will donate $100,000 to the initiative that advises LGBTQ+ youth, known as the Trevor Project.

Delta Air Lines also attracted attention by revealing a Pride exhibit at the Flight Museum in Atlanta.

Being the first of its kind, the exhibit sparked curiosity and support from the community.

Finally, Levi’s also revealed a lavender 2023 Pride collection featuring non-binary clothing. A lot of it contained empowering motifs, which the community accepted with great positivity.

The company also announced its $100,000 donation to Outright International for LGBTQ+ rights, which it donates annually.

The LGBTQ+ community is on the rise, particularly among Gen Z members, which are more open than previous generations.

Furthermore, with the new generation’s purchasing power also on the rise, corporations are more than happy to accommodate their needs and beliefs.

According to 2021 Census data, the LGBTQ+ community’s spending power is $1.4 trillion strong and will only continue to grow each year.

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