Outrage as big brands promote gender ideology

Aug 9, 2023

Dear marriage supporter,

Large corporations like Starbucks, Co-op and L’Oreal have explicitly promoted gay marriage as part of sponsorship of Pride events.

Now prominent feminists have urged people to boycott Costa Coffee after it positively portrayed double mastectomies for ‘trans men’ – biological women who identify as men.

One of its vans featured a cartoon image of a woman with breast removal scars. After the picture was shared widely (£), #BoycottCostaCoffee trended on social media and the company was denounced for glorifying irreversible medical treatment.

Maya Forstater of Sex Matters called it “shocking” and “irresponsible”. And feminist author Helen Joyce said the image ‘glorifies’ “bodily disassociation and self-harm among teenage girls”.

However, Costa defended the image (£), claiming it was a snapshot of a wider mural that was commissioned last year to celebrate “diversity” and “inclusivity”.

Shoemaker Dr Martens is facing a similar backlash after promoting designer boots which likewise portray an image of a woman with sex change scars. When criticised, it simply said it has “always embraced diversity”.

US beer brand Bud Light also caused outrage (£) this April after featuring transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney in a promotional advert. Incensed members of the public boycotted the product, leading to $395 million in losses for the company in North America alone. The owner of the Bud Light brand, Anheuser-Busch, reflected on the situation by admitting that people want “their beer without a debate”.

Only time will tell what effect any similar boycotts may have on Costa’s and Dr Marten’s profits. But the same lessons need to be learnt: corporations should focus on promoting their products, not controversial ideologies.

At C4M, we are saddened to see large corporations embracing woke ideologies on gender and marriage. Companies should learn to value and respect the wide range of opinions their consumers have, including traditional views on marriage and gender, and enable their products to be enjoyed by those across the political spectrum.