A conservative politician in Hungary has called for a boycott of Coca-Cola after an ad campaign included images of same-sex couples hugging and kissing.
The ads have slogans like “zero sugar, zero prejudice” and are cashing in on Budapest’s week-long Sziget Festival. This year the festival has the theme of “Love Revolution”.
But the ads have riled up some members of ruling right-wing Fidesz party, which opposes same-sex marriage and is trying to scrap same-sex civil unions.
Hungarian MP István Boldog was one politician who called for a boycott until Coke pulls the ads.
“Until they remove their provocative posters from Hungary, I will not consume their products! I’m asking everyone!” he wrote.
Also, an online petition calling for a boycott and for officials to ban the ads has garnered more than 30,000 signatures.
“Before now, large companies in Hungary have not advertised with openly gay content and messages,” the petition reads.
“Make no mistake, this is a test. If Hungarian society accepts this, there will be more and more steps. Posters, commercials, films, rainbow products, etc.
“And as we continue to slide down the slope, it will become increasingly difficult to stop.”
Conservative news outlet PestiSrácok raged, “The homosexual lobby is laying siege to Budapest, leaving no space to avoid this.”
LGBTIQ advocate responds to Hungary Coca-Cola backlash
Tamas Dombos, from gay rights group Hatter, explained to Reuters the Hungarian government was homophobic but also aware of society’s growing acceptance of gay lifestyles.
“We have a feeling they are testing people in this subject,” Dombos said.
“The government builds all of its propaganda on conflict, and they need enemies. After the EU, migrants, NGOs and even the homeless, now it may be LGBTQ people.
“Sometimes it’s hard to dissect whether it’s a political strategy or just an inherent real homophobe getting mad at something like Coke’s campaign.”
Coca-Cola said in a statement the company “strives for diversity, inclusion and equality in our business.”
“As a long-standing supporter of the LGBTQI community, we believe everyone has the right to love the person they choose. The campaign currently running in Hungary reflects these values.”
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