Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Independent Voices: Over The Rainbow

Here's what one user had to say on PG Tips' Facebook page, where its monkey puppet mascot wore rainbow glasses and a rainbow neckerchief and held a rainbow mug in front of a rainbow flag:

'You shouldn't be using the character of monkey, normally associated with pg tea for political purposes…thus is no place to be promoting gays. It is a lifestyle choice, it shouldn't be imposed on the rest of us by using popukar characters.' (sic)

[Edit: The pro and anti Facebook page comments are both wonderfully woefully thick!].

While I wildly disagree with the user's ideology and esoteric approach to spelling, they did hit on a key point about brands piggybacking on political events as if it is the same thing as leeching off national holidays.

The decision of these brands to 'go rainbow' was probably varyingly motivated by everything from sincere pride to shrewd, calculated marketing strategy. For the likes of Facebook and Twitter, with shared goals of bringing people together, it made sense, for others it was problematic and disingenuous, with United Airlines adopting a 'gay friendly' Facebook cover photo despite one of its managers previously been accused of calling customers "faggots" and Uber offering a rainbow promo code in spite of the fact one of its drivers once allegedly ejected a gay couple from a car for kissing on the backseat.

For some it simply made no sense. What does it mean for the PG Tips monkey to support marriage equality? In light of previous scandals with B&Bs, it's easy to see that Airbnb declaring itself in-line with the LGBT community can be helpful to customers, but what has mid-priced tea got to do with anything? Is it with great relief this morning that thousands of Britons awake safe in the knowledge that their cup isn't going to shout bigoted slurs at them?

What does Charmin toilet roll think about gay rights? What is Mr. Muscle's view on the death sentence? So help me god I'm washing my household surfaces with ditch water until they let me know.

This made a refreshing change from The Independent's usual happy-clappy patronising 'Hooray for the gays!' drivel where they feign getting over-excited about any rainbow-coloured corporate hooey. 

Here's today's most gushing example of pointless pink guff...

Though hilariously later today they ran this piece about why it really matters...

Facebook has denied that it was tracking people for an experiment or test, and that any information gathered would not be used for serving ads, but did not seem to say that it wasn’t tracking which people were using the tool.

“This was not an experiment or test, but rather something that enables people to show their support of the LGBTQ community on Facebook,” it told numerous news sources. “We aren’t going to use this as a way to target ads and the point of this tool is not to get information about people.”

And if you believe that...

Update: And on Wednesday lucky Independent readers were treated to a history of the rainbow flag. Wooh!

No comments:

Post a Comment