Businesses have it in their best interest to not entangle politics with their appeal to customers. Nonetheless, that is precisely what several Australian businesses are doing.
As we saw in the advertising campaigns for Valentine’s Day, many brands took it upon themselves to infuse endorsements of same-sex marriage and its accompanying ideologies into their Valentine’s Day adverts. Lush Cosmetics went all out with their campaign focusing on a same-sex couple, while Woolworths advert featured an array of duos, including same-sex partners.
Now, with the flamboyant celebration of Mardi Gras on the horizon, business are once again taking to their virtue signaling. This year’s major sponsors include ANZ, Airbnb, Google, Facebook, KIIS FM, Medibank, Qantas, and SBS. Notably, Qantas has flown its “true colours” in anticipation of the event:
To celebrate the 39th Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which kicks off on Friday, the airline featured a rainbow flag decal alongside its iconic flying kangaroo on the tail of an Airbus A330-300.
The flag was applied on Thursday and the aircraft was fully functional yesterday, bearing its pride livery on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne and another from Melbourne to Singapore. The rainbow flag will stay on the airbus for several months.
The airline’s name also features on the side of the aircraft in bold rainbow colours in a vibrant nod to the famous festival.
Perhaps more interesting than the article itself are the comments:
Sigh, virtue signalling by 'our' international flag carrier.
Imagine trying to explain this to the QANTAS founders in Longreach 100 years ago. A what Mardi Gras?
i [sic] wonder what assessment they conducted that determined this would be a popular statement. A strange business decision.
It seems that businesses are so anxious to jump on the politically correct bandwagon, that they fail to ask themselves if their political agendas are attracting or alienating their customers and employees. International examples show that alienating the silent majority of citizens is detrimental to business.
Australian businesses should be especially aware of how taking a public stance on a controversial issue will affect their employees, and whether such a public display of support for same-sex marriage would be a warning to the silent majority of employees who believe in marriage to remain silent. A company which truly embraced “diversity” would recognise the “diversity” of views amongst its own ranks.
In the aftermath of the Mardi Gras celebrations, time will reveal the consequences businesses face when they support same-sex marriage.