Swiss commuters grabbing their morning newspaper on their way to work may have noticed the colours of the rainbow splashed on the front page after Coca-Cola launched a pro-equality campaign.
With Swiss citizens set to vote on discrimination protections for LGB+ folk on Sunday, the American soft drink company sent a powerful message in support by buying the covers of several daily newspapers.
Spread across several papers, including 20 Minutes and Die Weltwoche, the campaign saw the coke bottle covered in an LGBT+ Pride flag.
Coca-Cola: Backlash bubbles against brand for supporting LGBT+ rights.
“Coca-Cola is enjoyed by many in Switzerland,” the advert copy read.
“Regardless of age, gender, skin colour, religion, or sexual orientation. The vast diversity in a small country like Switzerland requires understanding and solidarity from everyone.
Coca cola a acheté les unes des principaux titres de suisse pour diffuser un message clair en pleine campagne sur la loi anti homophobie. C'est fascinant et rare de voir une entreprise s'impliquer dans la politique suisse. D'autant plus une entreprise étrangère. Joli coup ! pic.twitter.com/1lla7N9vFF
— Niels Ackermann (@nielsack) January 31, 2020
“We also want to do our bit by bringing people together. That’s why we take a stand for a colourful and non-discriminatory society.
“For a Switzerland where people stand #together!”
The corporation’s stance stands with the bulk of Swiss citizens, with 65 per cent being in favour of adding sexual orientation to the country’s anti-discrimination laws, a study said.
Entitled the ‘Equality Manifesto’, Coca-Cola launched a campaign Monday calling for a colourful Switzerland in all four Swiss national languages, as well as in English.
Coca-Cola Switzerland’s managing director announced “it is the diversity in this country that makes Switzerland an unprecedented success story”.
But the colourful bottle brought backlash, with some boycotting Coca-Cola as a result.
Members of the Young Swiss People’s Party, one of the prime opposition parties against the ballot, wrote a press release detailing their stance titled “I don’t like Coca-Cola anymore!”.
“Coca-Cola uses Switzerland’s direct democracy to show itself in a light that the company is not entitled to,” the group’s managing director David Trachsel told Blick.
“Coca-Cola is doing business in countries where homosexuality is still banned or even punished with death,” he added.
This isn’t the first time the pop brand’s political campaigns have prompted backlash, after Hungarian authorities branded a same-sex commercial “mentally and morally damaging”.