February 12, 2014
How does a life of topless deer-shooting and discriminatory legislastion passing sound? Not your cup of tea? Congratulations! You’re humane.
If, somehow, this does appeal, then there’s probably a crate of “not for gays” BrewDog beer waiting outside your presidential chamber in the Russian embassy, because chances are your name is Vladimir Putin.
Perk: You get free beer.
Con: You’ll be hard pushed to find someone willing to share one with you.
But why, you ask? After the Russian President’s anti-gay slurs ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, BrewDog was to become one of the first companies to stand up to his ill-received comments. Last week, they created a “not for gays” parody beer, on sale across gay bars in the UK, as a tongue-in-cheek response. 50% of sales went to charity, whilst the beer has already picked up plenty of praise on these shores.
They’re not alone in their anti-Putin stance, and after Strings blogged on PR Moment just last week on the issue, we thought we’d do some digging to see who’d heeded his advice. Turns out, support for gay rights came in the bucket load.
Google was perhaps one of the biggest and most notable of these, using a Google Doodle of a rainbow – the colour scheme representing gay pride – in place of its iconic logo just hours before the Olympics opened. Again, acclaim aplenty.
On UK soil Channel 4 has also continued the trend. The broadcaster, who will show coverage of both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, has launched a new campaign wishing luck to and celebrating all athletes participating at “gay mountain” this winter. Further still, it also modified its logo – both that imprinted on broadcasts and the Channel 4 sign outside its London HQ – to be painted in a rainbow style.
Perhaps one of the most fearless responses came from the German team in Sochi themselves, who marched into the Olympic Stadium – with a stern-faced Putin watching on – in rainbow uniforms. This came just days after the website of Canadian bobsleigh member Justin Kripps was censored after, it was suggested, a photo of him and his team in underwear fell foul of Russia’s censorship guidelines. Kripps may have taken this in good humour, but there are plenty worldwide who have stronger opinions of Putin’s anti-gay regime.
One of the biggest global responses we’ve seen in a while has been the overwhelming result, and we can’t wait to see any further PR developments from this. Personally, we’re waiting for a PrettyGreenAndEveryOtherColour double rainbow to appear in Sochi.