Are You Rainbow Washing?

Every LGBTQ+ Pride season, companies modify their logo and merch with rainbow colours and images to demonstrate support. But are some of them just monetizing the rainbow?

We often refer to green and blue washing in the ESG-universe, but there’s also the act of “rainbow washing”. Rainbow washing can be defined as using rainbows in advertising or branding to indicate support for the LGBTQ+ Community, but with minimum effort or support throughout the year.

Many companies, particularly during Pride months, will transform their logos and merchandise into rainbow versions, highlighting members of the queer community or alluding to LGBTQ+ organisations they support without evidence, as they chase “pink” money.
Pride month is a big deal for brands, given the booming Queer consumer landscape. Forbes 2022, conservatively estimates the LGBTQ+ community as the fastest growing ‘minority’ segment spending at $1.4 trillion annually in the United States. According to GAY TIMES analysis (using a combination IPSOS and UN Population data) the population of LGBTQ+ people is predicted to hit 1 billion globally by 2050. As per a Gallup Poll in February 2022, one in five Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ. As NextGen comprise of an increasing share of the population, people who identify as LGBTQ+ could make up 15% of the adult population as “the increasing number of young adults self-identifying as LGBTQ underscores changing societal norms”
BIG is here for every flag waved and proud to have a BIG rainbow, but that’s not where the support should stop, and it certainly shouldn’t be ending when the parade ends.

Pride isn’t just one month. It’s all day, every day, every month, forever more. It’s the ongoing celebration of equity, diversity and inclusion that culminates in the beautiful tapestry of society that we are all a part of.

If you just wave a flag around for one month, hit a few parades and chase “pink money”, this is not on-going, active support with transparent and measurable action.

The Pride flag represents the Queer community’s long history of resilience against oppression and strife. The monetisation of it waters down the message of Pride to amplify queer voices and raise awareness for LGBTQI+ issues.
Companies can do so much to empower the queer community such as implementing anti-racist policy/action aligned with the UN standards of conduct/Sustainable Development Goals, educating their workforce, ensuring talent is paid fairly, fostering a safe working environment, and establishing long-term partnerships with non-profits or socially-responsible corporates.

BIG is proud to be a champion of the 2SLGBTQI Community and takes pride in supporting socially-woke partnerships and fostering education and awareness. So, wave those flags proudly people, but wave it all year and back it up!

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