Showing posts with label Gay Advertising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Advertising. Show all posts

December 27, 2013

Putin Weights the Cost of His Human Rights Violations and seems to be Changing His Mind Somehow

A protest image created by Russian-American Oleg Jelezniakov targeting Olympic sponsor Coca-ColaA protest image created by Russian-American Oleg Jelezniakov targeting Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola


 Al Jazeera (America) and a Russian gay site operating outside the country for obvious reason, reported 10 hrs ago that President Putin this week pardoned a dissident group that insulted him and an environmentalist group that targeted the nation’s energy industry, in what some human rights advocates call a desperate attempt to improve Russia’s image and secure his partners’ investments in the Sochi Olympics in February. That is not new news because most people know the reports refers to the Pussy Girls or what is left of their Pussy ensemble but more important the action of reversal also wen to the free peace group.
Putinalso ended the plight of the Green Peace activists. He even mentioned there would be no fines for them.  
On Thursday, Russia dropped hooliganism charges against all but one of 30 Greenpeace activists involved in a September protest at an oil rig off Russia's coast in the Arctic, and on Monday, two imprisoned members of Pussy Riot were freed. Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of released Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, told Al Jazeera he was elated.
 
But Putin won't budge on recent anti-gay legislation, and activists say that will cost Moscow some of the soft power it hopes to gain from holding the Olympics. 
Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov told Russian journalists this week that the absence of President Barack Obama and a slew of European heads of state won’t affect the games. But Nikolai Polozov, a renowned Russian civil rights lawyer who represented dissident punk rock group Pussy Riot in their 2012 trial, told Al Jazeera two high-profile pardons indicate that Putin is eager to make good on his allies' Olympic investments.
"It's a tactic of Putin's, only for good face, where he's played very bad," Polozov said.
Still, Polozov, Tolokonnikova's former lawyer, said Putin's pardons indicate that the Russian head of state has performed a cost-benefit analysis of the country's human rights situation and its ramifications for Sochi.
Putin "doesn't think about freedom, not about human rights. He thinks only about his money and the money of his team of people. He's afraid that nobody will go to the Olympic games, not Obama, not (U.K. Prime Minister David) Cameron or other leaders," Polozov said.
The Sochi Olympics are slated to cost Moscow between $60 billion and $65 billion, over 30 percent more than the 2008 Beijing Olympics. To make the financial investment worthwhile, Moscow needs to get something back, and it's unlikely to be a financial return.
"Over half is being spent by Putin's buddies, the oligarchs," said sports economist and Smith College professor Andrew Zimbalist. "They've been complaining, saying the government promised they would offer more subsidy. They want the government to buy out hotels that they're building."
"They are very anxious about legacy after the games are over," he said.
Winning an Olympic bid — at least financially — is almost always a loss, reminds Zimbalist.
"The Olympics is a very problematic investment to make, even in the best of circumstances," Zimbalist said. "The odds are overwhelmingly against them."
Even in soft power, the effect for Russia's standing in the world "could be negative instead of positive. There's a very viable threat for terrorist activity. ... You can have anti-gay activity ... Nobody is going to say, 'Look at Putin, he's a nice man now.'"

 Gay rights advocates in the United States say the community is split on its response to the Olympics being held in a place where legislation banning what Moscow’s Duma calls "gay propaganda" has led to a rise in homophobic violence.

"When there is persecution (against gays) like you are seeing in Russia, people want to react in some way, whether it's not attending or attending and expressing displeasure," said Ross Murray, a spokesman for gay rights group GLAAD.
Obama appears to have chosen for the gay community that attending in protest is the right route, announcing a delegation of representatives that includes three openly gay athletes and no elected officials.
Some plan on attending and saying nothing at all. Retired Olympic figure skater and self-avowed Russophile Johnny Weir announced in October that he will attend the Olympics as a commentator but has promised not to comment on this year's anti-gay legislation.
The community-wide conversation on a boycott "has been going on for months, and (a boycott) has not happened," GLAAD's Murray said.
But international companies have started to face ramifications for their participation in the event.
"There have been protests outside of (the headquarters of the Olympics' corporate sponsors like) Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Visa," Murray said.
"A lot of these corporations kind of pride themselves on how (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)-friendly they are — this puts them in a difficult spot. They have a community they want to engage, but the Olympics is a huge engagement and product placement opportunity for them.”
McDonald’s, Visa and Coke heavily invested at Sochi Games
visa-coke-mcdonalds
Duncan Osborne is a member of gay rights advocacy group Queer Nation, which has engaged Coca-Cola in protests for reportedly not adhering to the same anti-discrimination policies for gay employees in Russia as they do in the United States.
"We don't dismiss their pro-gay policies here. We want them to implement those policies in Russia and around the world," Osborne said.
"It's easy to be a friend when it's easy. It's easy in the U.S. Friends step up when times are hard," he added.
Coca-Cola did not respond to an interview request at time of publication. Osborne said that gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign typically rates Coca-Cola very highly in its corporate equality index.
"Our point is they should do that in Russia. They are not doing it in Russia. They should do it publicly. That would be a very powerful statement."
And it's a statement that could damage the image of Russia that Putin is trying to project of an independent, resurgent power player.
The impact of the absence of the LGBT spectators who plan to boycott Sochi remains unclear, Osborne and Murray say, but it could additionally hurt the bottom line.
A study published at the end of last year by Prudential Financial reported the median household income of the average LGBT American household is $11,500 higher than for their heterosexual counterparts. The study cited "a diverse group" of 1,401 LGBT Americans, ages 25 to 68.
Osborne pointed out that the purchasing power of the gay community is a contentious issue, as a number of previous statistics surveyed specific, affluent subgroups of America's gay community.
But Osborne said the argument that alienating the LGBT community will hurt Moscow's Olympic earnings is morally questionable.
"Those are not my favorite arguments. You shouldn’t say be nice to gay people, because they spend money or they'll deliver X number of dollars in taxes if you allow them to marry or ban discrimination."
Osborne is right, we never said treat gay visitors well because they would but spend money on the olympics but treat gay people with equality as other people in a fair way and treat the gay Russians the same way.
Putin is been able to have practically outlaw gays there because out gays is a small minority. Even when their courts decriminalize homosexuality gays never took advantage of that to make a foothold in government and the public.  Instead the majority remained in the closet. Now still important , if not more that they come out but now is very difficult and dangerous.
Such events are a teaching moment for us in and the rest of the world. If you want to be treated like everyone else as a gay person, you need to make your presence known. Gays are in every facet of the government, religion institutions, the rich and the poor. Without showing that we are not a bunch of pink sissies that will take the abuse because gays love pain, there would be no incentive to treat gays with human and civil rights. 
When you think about it and think about the recent history of being closeted and then being out in the USA for example you will see that when people started coming out and speaking out the trend  “ to Put us in an island somewhere” as it was said by more than one congressman from the Capital of this land disappeared. The talking heads on CNN and MSNBC which were allowed to make their homophobic point like if they had one, stopped. They were ‘slander’ against us but were allow to go on for at least 20 years. With people like GLAAD and money to hire lawyers, that trend stopped. People where coming out from sports to the government. We all of a sudden had claud.
No matter how hard one might think coming out might be outside of Russia, think about Russia, Iran, Iraq, most parts of Africa (with the exception of South Africa), the British ex-colonial islands, think how hard is there. One need to take the advantage when the winds are hitting us in the back not in the face because then it will be more painful than anybody can imagine but just as necessary.
Putin will have to eventually turn because he misjudged and thought there were less gays and less support than as he has found out there is a lot of support for gays civil and human rights.

July 16, 2012

GM Advertising to the Gay Community } Gay Consumers Love 'Volt'

General Motors ran this Chevy Volt ad in Between the Lines, a Michigan gay and lesbian newspaper, and garnered unexpected national attention through social media.
Gay and lesbian consumers prefer fuel-efficient cars, account for 5% of new car purchases and have average household income in the six figures -- more than that of heterosexual households, according to a recent marketing survey.
So it's little surprise that General Motors ran a gay-themed advertisement last month for the Chevrolet Volt, the type of car studies show gay and lesbian consumers tend to like.
GM didn't count on the ad drawing national attention.
First published for $750 in the Motor City Pride edition of Between the Lines, a Michigan gay and lesbian newspaper, the ad ended up being viewed 11 million times through social media.
"This was a good omen," said Jan Stevenson, co-publisher of the magazine. "They put their toe in the water, and it worked out really, really well. If anyone's really paying attention to it, they would say, 'Wow, this is an untapped market.' "
Car companies mostly advertise directly to the gay community in small niche ways, but some experts say the greater general acceptance of the community and the success of the Volt ad could mean more of the marketing is on the way.
"If it's a manufacturer's desire to bring in wealthier, better-educated, younger customers, then the lesbian and gay market would be an avenue to that demographic," said Chris Travell, vice president of consulting for Maritz Research, which surveyed 200,000 consumers in 2011 and found that gay and lesbian households made 10% more money.
The Volt ad "told us that this was something worth undertaking when the opportunities present themselves," said GM spokesman Tom Henderson.
Nissan corporate communications director Travis Parman, who completed a 333-page master's degree thesis on the LGBT community, said the ad may signal a gradual return of gay-themed auto advertising that was virtually suspended during the Great Recession about three years ago.
"As the economy starts to come back, people become more confident in investing in the niche media again," he said.
With the trademark gay rainbow colors striping the Volt ad, it reads, "Whatever revs your engine, we support you 100%."
A caption above the Volt pictured in the ad also proclaims: "Mom, Dad: I'm electric."

Avoid 'gay washing'

Van Buren Township gay couple Nick Graham, 28, and Dustin Dreese, 32, shopped for new cars for six months before settling on a Focus hatchback and an Edge crossover.
The two said it's true that they wanted to buy from a company that shared their values. But like all consumers, they really wanted great vehicles, including space for a car seat if they expand their family in a few years.
"We didn't buy a gay car," Graham said. "At the end of the day, what amenities are you going to give a gay person that a straight person isn't going to enjoy?"
Even so, there are studies that show gay and lesbian consumers have particular wants and auto companies could play to that, experts say.
On average, lesbian and gay car buyers are more likely to embrace fuel-efficient vehicles and high-tech features, experts said. Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet are the most popular brands among gay and lesbian consumers, according to San Francisco-based Community Marketing.
The 2011 survey of 40,000 LGBT consumers also found 17% planned to buy a new vehicle within 12 months.
Thomas Roth, president of Community Marketing, said there could be a "huge opportunity" for auto companies "being first to market" directly to LGBT consumers on a consistent basis.
Rich Ferraro, spokesman for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which monitors advertising, cautioned that brands need to be careful to avoid "gay washing" -- for example "putting two shirtless guys on a beach" and calling it a success.
"Buying an ad in a gay magazine is a start, but companies really have to practice what they preach," he said.
Automakers are also reaching the consumers de facto through mainstream outlets that might have a higher percentage of gay and lesbian viewers.
GM advertised the new subcompact Chevrolet Sonic on the Fox TV show "Glee," which portrays several gay and lesbian characters. Recently, Chrysler's parent company, Italian automaker Fiat, advertised the mini Fiat 500 on the LGBT-themed Logo cable channel.
The company, however, said it didn't tailor the ads specifically to those buyers.
Fiat's advertising must "appeal to all audiences in order to continue to generate and increase brand awareness," Chrysler spokeswoman Dianna Gutierrez said in an e-mail.

Conservative backlash

The major auto companies trumpet their corporate culture -- benefits to same-sex couples and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation -- as a core part of their appeal to gay and lesbian customers. Nearly half of LGBT consumers in a survey say corporate employment and spending policies help direct their buying decisions.
Still, many companies are hesitant to start vocally advocating for gay marriage rights or other gay and lesbian issues.
When President Barack Obama publicly endorsed gay marriage this spring, the auto companies were mostly silent, although a GM plant in Ft. Wayne, Ind., recently flew a rainbow flag to show its support for gay rights.
The American Family Association's One Million Moms campaign recently attacked retailer J.C. Penney's inclusion of gay dads and lesbian moms in catalog ads.
"I'm sure for some companies it could absolutely backfire, but you see more and more companies doing it these days," said Richard Read, acting editor of GayWheels.com.
He said he liked the Volt ad because it was "very fashion-forward, very sleek and contemporary."
But he's skeptical whether LGBT consumers adjust their buying habits based on corporate behavior.
"That doesn't necessarily directly influence their purchases," he said.
He said auto companies shouldn't resort to "photoshopping out the straight couple and dropping in their same-sex counterparts."
Roland Leggett, an openly gay Detroit resident who recently bought a 2012 Chevy Malibu, said "diversity advertising is tremendously important" to him and other LGBT consumers.
"It sends a message to the folks you're trying to sell to that you value diversity," said Leggett, director of field organizing for Equality Michigan. "I'd really strongly encourage the automotive industry to continue to move forward, continue that message of inclusivity, but also put its money where its mouth is and support pro-equality organizations."
Although advertising and events are influential, dealerships still have a lot of reach, too.
The Maritz Research survey also found that about 8.3% of gay and lesbian car buyers were not satisfied with their experience at the car dealership. That compares with 6% of heterosexual car buyers.
"I think gay people in general have hardened skin," Graham said. "I don't know that slapping a rainbow in an advertisement is going to get over that. It's more: Come to my dealership because I'm going to treat you like a human being."
Contact Nathan Bomey: 313-223-4743 or nbomey@freepress.com
More Details: Gay, lesbian consumer demographics
Maritz Research study
• Lesbian and gay shoppers had average household income of $120,641, compared with $109,678 for heterosexual buyers, according a survey of 200,000 consumers purchasing 2011 and 2012 model-year vehicles.
• LGBT buyers also have more education, the survey found.
• And they accounted for about 5% of new-vehicle purchases, according to Maritz.
San Francisco-based Community Marketing surveyed 40,000 LGBT consumers in 2011
• On average, lesbian and gay car buyers are more likely to embrace fuel-efficient vehicles and high-tech features.
• Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet are the most popular brands among LGBT consumers, according to the survey.
• Seventeen percent planned to buy a new vehicle within 12 months.
• About 28% of gay men and 22% of lesbians surveyed say a company's advertising in LGBT newspapers and magazines has a big impact on their purchases.


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