Most Americans say companies should publicly support the LGBTQ community, survey finds


3 in 4 respondents said they feel comfortable seeing LGBTQ people in ads, according to a new survey by LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.

A clear majority of Americans who do not identify as LGBTQ believe that companies should publicly support the community, according to a new survey by gay rights group GLAAD.

About 70% of the more than 2,500 adults who do not identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or other members of the community said support from companies should come through hiring practices, advertising and sponsorships, according to online responses to GLAAD’s annual “Accelerating Adoption” study, conducted in February.

“When people are exposed to LGBTQ people and experiences in the media, it changes hearts and minds and changes culture and emotion,” GLAAD said in its release. “Measuring media comfort is a way to 100% acceptance for LGBTQ people.”

Three out of 4 survey respondents said they feel comfortable seeing LGBTQ people in ads, and nearly 70% said they feel comfortable seeing an LGBTQ family with children featured in ads.

The study comes as retailers like Target, Kohl’s and PetSmart have come under fire for their annual LGBTQ Pride merchandise displays and advertising campaigns.

Mega retailer Target went so far as to pull some of its merchandise from retail last week. A company spokesman said threats to employees “affect our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.”

Critics continue to incite anti-LGBTQ attacks in stores and on social media, with some calling for boycotts.

In April, Bud Light came under fire after partnering with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The campaign sparked violent videos of customers shooting Bud Light cans and right-wing boycotts. In response, the marketing executive overseeing the partnership at Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch Inbev took a leave of absence.

Bud Light sales have since continued to suffer, according to data from Evercore ISI. In the week ending May 20, Bud Light’s volume — the number of units of beer sold — fell 29.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

The company has also faced criticism from LGBTQ leaders, who have chastised the company for not defending its ties to Mulvaney and the community more strongly.

In a statement responding to the backlash, Anheuser-Busch said it “partners with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.”

GLAAD and more than 100 leading LGBTQ advocacy organizations wrote a letter Wednesday calling on Target to “reject and speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism heading into Pride Month,” which is celebrated in June.

“Doubling your values isn’t just the right thing to do,” the group wrote in a statement. “It’s good for business.”

A separate survey conducted by GLAAD and the Edelman Trust Institute in December found that if a brand publicly supports and demonstrates a commitment to expanding and protecting LGBTQ+ rights, Americans are twice as likely to buy or use the brand.

GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis emphasized in her personal call to action on Twitter last week that companies need to stand behind their products and advertising campaigns instead of backing down.

“Anti-LGBTQ violence and hatred must not win in America,” Ellis said. “But it will continue until corporate leaders emerge as heroes for their LGBTQ employees and consumers and don’t give in to fringe activists calling for censorship.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here