Google, Microsoft and Starbucks are
coming out to support gay marriage to win over young consumers, a
marketing analyst believes.
Corporations are increasingly speaking
out in favor of gay rights, in particular equal marriage rights for
gay and lesbian couples.
Google's Legalize Love campaign
is the latest example. In June, Kraft Foods, the parent company of
Nabisco, ruffled the feathers of gay rights foes with an image of a
rainbow themed Oreo cookie supporting Gay Pride posted on the
brand's Facebook page. Foes held a 4-day
protest outside the Minneapolis headquarters of General Mills
after it came out against a proposed gay marriage ban in Minnesota.
Coffee giant Starbucks
is facing a boycott over its support for a gay marriage law in
Washington state. Microsoft
also supports the law.
On Wednesday, Christian conservative
group AFA threatened to boycott
Google's services and products for its global Legalize Love
campaign, which fights discrimination in the workplace.
to MSBNC, Ian Johnson, founder and CEO of Out Now Consulting,
said the stakes for corporations are much higher than the LGBT
market, which is believed to be worth as much as $790 billion
annually in the U.S. alone.
“They're not just marketing to the 15
million Americans who identify as gay or lesbian,” Johnson said.
“They're marketing to the millions of people who support their work
colleagues, their friends, their family.”
“As America is aging and Gen X and Y
are moving into middle management, this is the core market,”
Younger Americans tend to support gay
rights in higher numbers than older Americans.