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Squarespace and more big companies pull ads with ‘LGBT-free zone’ Polish paper

Ella Braidwood July 31, 2019
LGBT free zone stickers

The "LGBT-free zone" stickers will be distributed with the next edition. (GPtygodnik/ Twitter)

Major companies, including software brand Squarespace and lingerie retailer Bravissimo, have said they will remove adverts with a Polish newspaper after it issued ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers to its readers.

The right-wing newspaper Gazeta Polska was heavily criticised – including by the openly gay deputy mayor of Warsaw – after saying it would issue the anti-LGBT+ stickers in its July 24 edition.

A number of large businesses have since confirmed that they will no longer advertise with Gazeta Polska, following pressure from UK-based social media campaign Stop Funding Hate.

Squarespace and insurance company Ergo both confirmed on Twitter that they are taking steps to stop their adverts appearing in the weekly conservative publication.

Squarespace, Ergo and Bravissimo will remove adverts with Gazeta Polska after ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers

Squarespace pulls adverts with newspaper after anti-LGBT stickers
Squarespace confirmed it will no longer advertise with Gazeta Polska. (SquarespaceHelp/Twitter)

PinkNews has also seen an email from Bravissimo’s customer services team confirming that it is in the process of removing the adverts.

“The advert you are referring to on this website is one of our Display Ads – they are tailored to your own individual browsing and search history, so if you have recently visited the Bravissimo website, you may see them popping up on other website pages that you visit in the following days or weeks,” reads the email.

“We want to reassure you that we haven’t chosen to advertise with this particular publication and we wouldn’t want our adverts to be shown on a website that could potentially cause offence to our customers.

“We hope you will find it reassuring to hear that we will remove this from this website as soon as possible.”

Court orders newspaper to withdraw ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers from circulation

On July 24, a Polish court reportedly ordered Gazeta Polska to remove the anti-LGBT stickers from circulation.

The stickers showed a Pride flag covered by a black “x” and the words “LGBT-free zone” in Polish.

Richard Wilson, director of Stop Funding Hate, told PinkNews: “We know from our work challenging hate in the UK that big brands generally don’t want to be associated with hateful and extremist media.

“So when we heard about Gazeta Polska’s toxic campaign, and saw how many well-known companies were inadvertently advertising on their website, we felt sure that this could provide a way for members of the public to push back.”

After news broke about the anti-LGBT+ stickers, Paweł Rabiej, deputy mayor of Warsaw, who is openly gay, wrote on Twitter: “Tomorrow I will make a complaint to the prosecutor’s office in this matter.

“The German fascists created zones free of Jews. Apartheid – from black. As you can see, the tradition finds worthy followers, this time in Poland, under an umbrella of PiS and bishops.”

More: LGBT, Poland, polish, stickers

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