A Coca-Cola ad campaign promoting the tolerance of a gay lifestyle is not tolerated by one of Hungary’s top officials, who has called for a “boycott” of the company’s products.
Posters and billboards for the cola’s ad campaign featuring slogans like, “Zero Sugar, Zero Prejudice,” started surfacing ahead of a music festival called “Love Revolution” — which kicks off in Budapest this week and promotes gay acceptance, according to Reuters in a piece published Monday. (RELATED: Athletes With High Testosterone Can Be Barred From Women’s Sports)
In response, a senior member of Viktor Orban’s nationalist Fidesz party, Istvan Boldog, issued a boycott of the company’s products during the “provocative” campaign. (RELATED: Model Admits She Lied About Being Transgender After Getting ‘Death Threats’ Over Past Comments)
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 5, 2019
The ads feature gay couples kissing and holding bottles of Coke and have been spotted at train stations and throughout the nation’s capital, per CNN.
Coca-Cola is running ads in Hungary that include images of same-sex couples kissing and holding bottles of Coke. Now the company faces backlash from Hungarian politicians and conservative activists. But Coca-Cola has no plans to backtrack. https://t.co/LmY22DgUA9
— CNN (@CNN) August 5, 2019
However, Fidesz stopped short of endorsing the boycott and stated that Hungarians were free to choose whether to drink the company’s soda’s or not.
Tamas Dombos, an advocate with the Hatter gay rights group, believes society is growing more accepting of gay lifestyles, despite the government being homophobic.
“We have a feeling they are testing people in this subject,” Dombos explained. “The entire government propaganda is built on conflict, and they need enemies. After the EU, migrants, NGOs and even the homeless, now it may be LGBTQ people.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to dissect whether it’s a political strategy or just an inherent real homophobe getting mad at something like Coke’s campaign,” he added.
Coca-Cola has since responded to the backlash, making it clear that in addition to “zero sugar and zero prejudice,” it also has zero plans to change things.
“We believe both hetero-and homosexuals have the right to love the person they want the way they want,” a statement from the company read.
A study by Hatter in 2018 found that almost two-thirds of Hungarians believe gay people should be free to live as they would like. Those numbers are up significantly from less than half 16 years earlier.