Coca-Cola has published photos online of a group of gay rights activists who recently interrupted its Christmas advertising campaign with a surprise demonstration against the company’s decision to sponsor the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
Reported on an online blog from one of the demonstrators, the campaign which took place in Brighton on Saturday December 21 has found its way onto the Coca-Cola’s official website.
The group consisted of ten human rights activists, organised by trade unionists, members of the Socialist Party, as well as other individuals.
The activists held placards which read: “Olympic sponsors break your silence on LGBTQ+ Russia!”, “Defend LGBTQ+ people in Russia!”, and “Demand protection for LGBTQ+ Russians!”
Links to photos from the demonstration have been published via the company’s CokeZone website, which can can be accessed with links provided through the hosting service, Click-It.
Tatchell, who coordinated the campaign, said: “Coke is sponsoring the Sochi Winter Olympics, without even a murmur of unease at the anti-gay and repressive policies of the Putin government. It is shameful acquiescence with oppression.
“By sponsoring the Sochi Winter Olympics, Coca-Cola is rewarding the Putin regime, giving it legitimacy and credibility.
“It is shocking that Coca Cola has not been willing to make any statement of support for LGBT equality or for other human rights in Russia.”
In August, AllOut created a form allowing users to easily send a message to Coca Cola management urging them to speak out publicly against Russia’s anti-gay legislation.