The Line Between Support For SSM And Cashing In

Written by Howard Duggan
Category: Agenda Published: Sunday, 27 August 2017 15:00

With only weeks until the people of Australia vote on the legal standing of same-sex marriage (SSM), the issue has drawn – for better or for worse – a plethora of organisations keen to align their brands to the cause.

Earlier this year Ben and Jerry's banned ordering two of the same flavour scoops in store until marriage equality is achieved. Last week MTV shut down its regular programming to encourage (young) people to enrol to vote. Elsewhere, a corner of the advertising industry called for associates to refuse to work on any 'No' campaign brief.

Two weeks ago lingerie retailer Honey Birdette associated their brand with SSM and released a social media video of a Honey Birdette parade in Sydney featuring scantily-clad models holding placards #freethenipple and #make love not plebiscite.

The video has been watched 23,000 times and attracted in excess of 1,000 comments which ranged across the the spectrum of marketing and political views. Some commenters on the social media post accused Honey Birdette of populist opportunism while others claimed confusing messaging, viz the connection of Free The Nipple with Same-Sex Marriage. At the time of writing the most responded-to comment was "This is worse than the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad".

Hundreds of people voiced their support of Honey Birdette and the messaging generally. Notwithstanding the (queer) sexuality of Eloise Monaghan –  the company's CEO and founder – ABC's Media Watch has labelled Honey Birdette's activity as a "marketing stunt" devoting a segment to the issue on this week's programme.

Watch the Media Watch segment:

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