More companies are staying quiet during Pride, but money is still flowing to LGBTQ+ causes

by | Jun 30, 2024 | Business

Parade participants are seen marching during the 2024 Kentuckiana Pride Parade on June 15, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. Stephen J. Cohen | Getty ImagesPride month is winding down — and this year, the corporate world took a more cautious approach.June tends to bring a wave of rainbow-themed merchandise and affirming ads and social media posts from retailers and consumers brands, coinciding with parades and other events that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.As the presidential election approaches, however, some companies have grown quieter about diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to avoid stepping into the culture wars or facing the blowback from conservative customers that Target and Bud Light did a year ago.The starkest example of that came late Thursday: Tractor Supply, a retailer that sells animal feed, cowboy boots and lawn supplies in rural parts of the country, said it is ending all spending tied to diversity and environmental causes. That includes no longer sponsoring Pride festivals, the statement said.The move, while an outlier in its magnitude, underscores how some companies that made inclusion commitments in recent years are treading cautiously.It is difficult to track how many companies shared supportive messages, donated to LGBTQ+ causes or sold rainbow-themed merchandise in June compared to previous years. According to Gravity Research, a Washington, D.C.-based reputational research firm, 45% of Fortune 100 companies had at least one social media post on LinkedIn or X explicitly related to Pride as of June 21 this year, compared with 51% last June.Gravity Research President Luke Hartig said the volatility of the presidential election and the two candidates’ willingness to call out companies by name has also made companies less likely to go public about their stand.”There’s a little bit of like, ‘keep our heads down while we go through this election,'” he said.Tim Bennett, cofounder of Tribury Productions, a marketing company that specializes in reaching LGBTQ+ Americans, works with Fortune 500 companies, including recent projects with Procter & Gamble. He said more clients have taken “a wait-and-see” approach to marketing to LGBTQ+ consumers or decided to scatter efforts throughout the year instead of making a big splash in a single month.”June this year has not been like the last five or six,” Bennett said.That may not be a bad thing for LGBTQ+ initiatives and charities. Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of nonprofit advocacy group GLAAD, said she’s seeing more companies get involved with year-round philant …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnParade participants are seen marching during the 2024 Kentuckiana Pride Parade on June 15, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. Stephen J. Cohen | Getty ImagesPride month is winding down — and this year, the corporate world took a more cautious approach.June tends to bring a wave of rainbow-themed merchandise and affirming ads and social media posts from retailers and consumers brands, coinciding with parades and other events that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.As the presidential election approaches, however, some companies have grown quieter about diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to avoid stepping into the culture wars or facing the blowback from conservative customers that Target and Bud Light did a year ago.The starkest example of that came late Thursday: Tractor Supply, a retailer that sells animal feed, cowboy boots and lawn supplies in rural parts of the country, said it is ending all spending tied to diversity and environmental causes. That includes no longer sponsoring Pride festivals, the statement said.The move, while an outlier in its magnitude, underscores how some companies that made inclusion commitments in recent years are treading cautiously.It is difficult to track how many companies shared supportive messages, donated to LGBTQ+ causes or sold rainbow-themed merchandise in June compared to previous years. According to Gravity Research, a Washington, D.C.-based reputational research firm, 45% of Fortune 100 companies had at least one social media post on LinkedIn or X explicitly related to Pride as of June 21 this year, compared with 51% last June.Gravity Research President Luke Hartig said the volatility of the presidential election and the two candidates’ willingness to call out companies by name has also made companies less likely to go public about their stand.”There’s a little bit of like, ‘keep our heads down while we go through this election,'” he said.Tim Bennett, cofounder of Tribury Productions, a marketing company that specializes in reaching LGBTQ+ Americans, works with Fortune 500 companies, including recent projects with Procter & Gamble. He said more clients have taken “a wait-and-see” approach to marketing to LGBTQ+ consumers or decided to scatter efforts throughout the year instead of making a big splash in a single month.”June this year has not been like the last five or six,” Bennett said.That may not be a bad thing for LGBTQ+ initiatives and charities. Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of nonprofit advocacy group GLAAD, said she’s seeing more companies get involved with year-round philant …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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