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Photo: Twitter | @GayStation64.
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Brands criticised for ‘hollow’ Pride Month marketing

Numerous brands have been criticised for what some in the LGBTIQ+ community see as cynical ‘pinkwashing’ during Pride Month.

Pride Month is celebrated each year to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. 

It celebrates diversity in the LGBTIQ+ community, and many brands have begun featuring queer-themed promotions and donating proceeds to charities.

However, some have called Pride Month marketing shallow and called out companies for efforts that have not focused on tangibly supporting the community. 

Model train brand Hornby announced its new rainbow ‘Love is Love’ themed van, specifically tweeting that they would not donate money to charity, seeking only to “raise awareness”.

“Please can you pass on to senior management that LGBT+ people can’t eat ‘awareness’ and that this kind of hollow marketing ploy is disgusting,” replied one Twitter user. 

“Either open your purse Hornby or don’t bother.”

Hornby has since agreed to donate proceeds to charity and asked the community for suggestions on which to support.

Skittles candy is again available in questionable ‘white pride’ branding, with the tagline “Only one rainbow matters during Pride”.

Kellogg’s has partnered with GLAAD to create a heart-shaped cereal in the US for Pride Month, promising to donate up to $140,000 to the charity – but purchasers must upload a receipt for the brand to contribute each $3.

“If brands *must* wade into pride month then don’t insult us with half-baked platitudes about ‘being yourself’,” tweeted one person. 

“Talk about the entrenched transphobia in our media. Talk about our community’s mental health crisis. Talk about queer refugees. Then tell us what you’re doing about it.”

Other major brands have committed to supporting LGBTIQ+ charities.

Coffee giant Starbucks, which has a new set of Pride cups for sale, is donating $50,000 each to the Lavender Rights Project and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty brand is donating $250,000 to four community charities for Pride Month.

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