Hungarian MP boycotts Coca-Cola over LGBT ad campaign
A new advertising campaign from Coca-Cola Hungary is causing controversy for showing same-sex love, and a Hungarian MP is encouraging people to boycott the drinks.
The #loveislove campaign shows same-sex couples enjoying a Coke Zero, with the slogan “zero sugar, zero prejudice,” and posters are being displayed in the Budapest subway.
Boldog István, an MP from Hungary’s conservative, right-wing party Fidesz which has held majority power in the country since 2010, has said he is boycotting the brand and is encouraging others to do the same.
He wrote on Facebook: “Until they remove their provocative posters from Hungary, I will not consume their products! I’m asking everyone!”
A petition to remove the adverts from the subway has been signed by more than 25,000 people since Saturday (August 2).
The page for the petition states: “We start by boycotting Coca-Cola. And in our petition we ask for help in removing the posters as soon as possible and in curbing a homosexual lobby aimed at children, families and society as a whole.”
The Budapest transport operator BKV said in a statement that it was not responsible for the content of advertising on the subway.
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According to Index, Cola-Cola responded to criticism of the campaign: “We believe that both heterosexuals and homosexuals have the right to love a person the best they can.
“In our advertisements, posts, and messages, we express the principles we represent, and thus our belief in equality between people.
“We believe that in a world based on these values, everyone can live freely, happily. The right to love and be loved belongs to everyone.”
Same-sex marriage is not legal in Hungary, and although registered partnerships were legalised in 2009, same-sex couples do not have the same rights as opposite-sex married couples.
A European agreement to prevent discrimination against LGBT people was blocked by Hungary in 2016.