The United States has scoffed at corporate efforts to force consciousness on consumers.
Putting children’s apparel with transgender messages at the front of stores during the month of June resulted in a dramatic decline in sales for retail behemoth Target and prompted some stores to relocate the displays to the back of the clothing section.
Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, infamously used Dylan Mulvaney and “woke” messaging in their marketing, resulting in a $390 million sales loss.
The parent company blamed the ‘volume decline’ of Bud Light for the decrease in revenue in its second quarter, with figures indicating that total US revenue dropped by 10.5% from April to June compared to the same period a year earlier, as reported by Daily Mail.
The world’s largest brewer reported a 14 percent decline in sales to U.S. retailers on Thursday, adding that it had been “underperforming the industry,” without elaborating on the evident cause.
And now, having not learned from previous marketing errors, confectionery follows suit.
Skittles is in its fourth year of collaborating with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to “support the LGBTQ+ community by amplifying and celebrating their stories,” as stated on the Skittles website.
And now Skittles is facing criticism after partnering with GLAAD and modifying some of its packaging to include ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ messaging. In a series of limited edition Pride Packs, the confectionery manufacturer has abandoned its signature color wheel in favor of a toned-down packaging featuring an illustration.
In previous years, the envelopes were entirely gray to “represent the brand’s unwavering efforts of support”; however, the concept was altered last year to include the work of five LGBTQ+ artists. The artists were instructed to create designs that depicted how they “see the rainbow” on a daily basis. One of the examples contains the text “express urself,” while another contains “Black Trans Lives Matter.”
Skittles Senior Director Justin Hollyn-Taub stated in a statement released at the time of last year’s Pride Pack announcement that the brand was committed to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. “While Pride Month is a time to reflect, self-educate and celebrate, we know that long-term sustained support and allyship is key in building a more inclusive and diverse society,” he proclaimed.
Consumers are fed up with forced promotion of the stated position, and images of the packet on social media prompted an outpouring of criticism on Twitter today:
‘Bruh anytime a company does this it seems in-genuine when their only goal is maximizing profit for shareholders,’ another claimed.
‘I didn’t want to have to do this skittles.. bye,’ a disappointed customer added.
‘This stuff is no longer funny,’ another person shared.
‘More Bud Light moments… Will it ever end…?’ one person suggested on Twitter, referencing Skittles’ packaging.
‘So giving them the Bud Light treatment,’ another stated.
The traditional Skittles package is still available and has not been removed from shelves, while the Pride Pack series is available at select retailers. One might presume that retailers who embrace Pride packaging do not care about consumer feedback.
Daily Mail reported that one dollar is donated, up to a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars, to GLAAD’s work and programs to combat discrimination, but did not specify where this dollar amount is allocated. Mars Inc. has been contacted by DailyMail.com for comment.
Out.com lists 42 brands with “Pride Products” that “Give Back” to the LGBTQ+ agenda, and additional sites are prepared to direct consumers to “Pride-friendly” products.
Other businesses attempt to subtly blur the distinction between consumer subgroups. The Daily Signal reports that sixty companies, including Wal-Mart, Amazon, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and even Fox News, have initiatives regarding June being Pride month.
It appears that brands endeavoring not to alienate the LGBTQ+ community are using the catchphrase “give back” in reference to a portion of their profits, but it is difficult to determine where the funds actually go.
Among the more absurd examples of pride products are M&S’s addition of a “G” to its BLT for a rainbow sandwich wrapper proclaiming “LGBT” Listerine exhibited a rainbow-colored mouthwash container containing positive keywords.
The Washington Post reports that Republicans in Congress have proposed banning Pride flags from government buildings. The backlash continues. According to many, a sexuality-related issue is not something to exhibit in public.
Conservatives are reacting with a louder voice to issues such as school indoctrination of children, drag performances, and transgender athletes participating outside of their biological class as a result of the expansive Pride initiative.
Christians are also rising up to “take back the rainbow,” a symbol of God’s promise in the Bible as opposed to a symbol of behavior that the Bible deems to be immoral.