Sochi sponsors flying the pride flag

February 14, 2014  |  Jeromy Lloyd  |  Comments

Behold the baritone musical spectacle that is “Gay Mountain,” an Olympic promo complete with a Putin-like DJ and enough confetti to choke a Russian bear.

Russia’s legal attitude towards its gay community overshadowed much of the pre-Games coverage as consumers and activist groups began petitioning sponsors (both as a group and individually) to take a stand against the laws that the West has largely interpreted as discriminatory, oppressive and anti-free speech.

Britain’s Channel 4 (which also rainbowed-up its logo for the Games*) is the latest in a growing field of companies overtly thumbing their noses at Russia’s “anti-gay propaganda” laws.

• Bell included a gay couple among the many fast-cut scenes in its latest TV spot.

AT&T didn’t get creative with its pro-equality stance, but did overtly addresses Russia’s controversial laws in a blog entry from Feb. 4.

The Olympic Games in Sochi also allow us to shine a light on a subject that’s important to all Americans: equality. As you may know, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community around the world is protesting a Russian anti-LGBT law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” To raise awareness of the issue, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has called on International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors to take action and stand up for LGBT equality.

AT&T is not an IOC sponsor, so we did not receive the HRC request. However, we are a long-standing sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), we support HRC’s principles and we stand against Russia’s anti-LGBT law.

• Chobani likewise made a statement to the press that put the yoghurt company squarely on the side of the rainbow flag– “It’s disappointing that in 2014 this is still an issue. We are against all laws and practices that discriminate in any way, whether it be where you come from or who you love — for that reason, we oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT law.” – Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani CEO

• Chevrolet also featured gay couples and families in its Olympic spots, which don’t feature winter sports but they were aired during U.S. coverage of the opening ceremonies (We took a look at the other one in this week’s installment of Ads You Must See).

• And of course if you were on Google last week, you’ve saw its rainbow doodle.

* – As did fellow British media company The Guardian.

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