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US: Stoli vodka ‘upset and angry’ at Russian anti-gay laws

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  1. Boycott it anyway! Maybe the message will eventually get through to Putin and other members of his homophobic dictatorship that the world can harm its exports just as much as Russia can harm its own LGBT people. Hit ‘em where it hurts most; in the pocket.

    1. Yay! Boycott a company that is supportive of LGBT rights and isn’t even headquartered in Russia! Way to go!

  2. It is not just this brand. There is also Russian Standard that has a huge market share.

    At least this brand has spoken out, though the cynic in me presumes that it is more to do with trying not to lose sales than anything else.

    Still, I applaud them for doing so, but I would be more encouraged if they took adverts out in the worlds press to show their support and their disdain at what is happening in Russia. They really could reach a massive audience and hopefully highlight it more than the press is currently doing.

    1. While it MAY be to preserve sales, they do have a LONG history of sponsoring LGBT events.

  3. So it still use’s Russian materials in the processing? and these are empty words from stoli, want proactive steps against the apartheid in Russia. Boycott!

  4. The amount of people who comment on this on facebook and on stoli’s facebook page without doing any research before spitting their hateful venom drives me mad.

    If you scroll back months and years on Stoli’s fb page you will notice they have long been supporters and sponsors of lgbt events. This isn’t just some quick attempt to try and stop people from boycotting them. This statement they have made alone, puts them one ahead than any of the others who have not said anything.

    1. This statement should be directed to the Russian government and sounds more like a pr corporate ploy not to lose profits from the malleable.

      People must run circles round you, if you fall for stoli’s statement.

    2. How naive you are Kevin. Yes, Stoli has marketed successfully to the gay community in the US. But they have done nothing to oppose the dreadful actions in Russia. Nothing. They should take out ads in Russian newspapers supporting gay rights rather than saying so in the US or Britain.

    3. Sponsoring gay events makes them MORE money from the valuable exposure. If they REALLY want to make a stand, why don’t they threaten to close down their manufacturing facility in Latvia?

      1. Because Latvia isn’t in Russia, genius. It’s a separate country. Brush up on your geography.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Jul 2013, 1:04pm

    Now let’s see if Putin retaliates against Stoli.

    1. Interesting to note that the owner of Stoli, Yuri Scheffler, lives in Russia. Is he now subject to prosecution under the anti-gay propaganda law for supporting LGBTs because of this letter? Most of the production of Stoli is Russian-based.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Jul 2013, 1:06pm

    I never touch Russian products of any kind. I’ve been an ardent fan of Swedish Absolut Vodka for many years, a long-time close friend of the LGBT community.

  7. Everything funky but can this brand be held responsible? Believe (though not sure) they have long supported equality.

    What bugs me a bit is that there is a sudden boycot now it regards our community so clearly. How many of us have clothes and gadgets made in countries with even a worse track record on LGBTQ rights but less visible in the media? And how many of those products are made by people or even children under very poor conditions? The brands responsible for that should be directly boycotted as they actively violate human rights, don’t believe the same can be said of Stoli.

    1. Well I boycott as many products from primitive, anti human rights states as possible and as much as I am aware of their source, that includes such as Iranian cavier, Russian vodka, Jamaican beer and foods etc etc , it’s quite easy to find suitable alternatives

  8. Hopefully they’ll back up this support by switching to non-Russian ingredients, although I imagine finding a new supplier who could supply enough high quality wheat and rye might take some time.

  9. Stoli is so supportive of gay rights that they celebrate it as a marketing tool everywhere EXCEPT in Russia. If they are so opposed to the shameful laws against gay people in Russia, why didn’t they speak out against them before they were adopted unanimously by the Russian Parliament. They say they support gay pride in the US, but they certainly did nothing to support gay pride in Moscow! They are liars and bigots who are just trying to placate the Western market.

  10. The best response is Stoli is this by Queer Nation: “”A single open letter that was discreetly placed with a single gay publication in the US will not help LGBT Russians nor will it have an impact on the Russian government’s anti-gay campaign. This and [SPI's] refusal made in an earlier statement to confront the Russian government’s anti-gay bigotry make clear that you are not the fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community you claim to be.”

    “By its own admission, SPI Group operates in Russia and pays taxes to the Russian government. That money funds these continuing attacks on LGBT people and organizations in Russia. Queer Nation will continue its boycott of Stolichnaya and other Russian vodkas until this anti-gay law is repealed and the Russian government guarantees the safety of its LGBT citizens and foreign LGBT nationals in Russia.”

    The Queer Nation response concludes “We will not help you fund the Russian war on LGBT people.”

  11. Hello. I’m russian student and gay.
    “Val Mendeleev(Mr. Valery Mendeleev)
    Chief Executive Officer and Director
    Soyuzplodimport Joint-Stock Company
    Corporate Headquarters
    Ul. Dolgorukovskaya 34/2
    Moscow, Moskovskaya obl. 103030

    Russia”
    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=38798619&privcapId=10636315
    There is no any support or even message in russian for russian lgbt people from them in Russia.

    Sorry for my bad english :(

  12. Where were their condemnations when this law was working it’s way through the legislative process? This is a ‘little too late’ response to keep their market share. nothing more.

  13. This is a tricky one. It would be more impressive if the brand started threatening to find other sources for their ingredients, in an effort to boycott Russia altogether.

    Vodka doesn’t have to come from Russia, and the ties to Russia are no longer something to be proud of.

    I think the brand should really start weighing up the pro’s and con’s of being linked to Russia in any way.

    If I were in control there, I would be making it clear to my suppliers in Russia that I’m looking to distance the brand from Russian suppliers, see how that goes, and probably eventually dump them entirely to become the leading brand of Vodka around the world.

  14. michael goodings 31 Jul 2013, 7:49pm

    IF they are that upset. Why don’t they petition the Russian government to stop !

  15. A few gay bars boycotting vodka will make little or no effect on Russian politics. Political protest and lobbying would be far more effective. Don’t kid yourself that switching to Absolut is going to give you the moral high ground.

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