Nearly 40 per cent of companies who have co-opted the Rainbow Flag are not supporting any LGBT+ organisations

Shocking new research shows that 36 per cent of corporations that are utilizing the rainbow flag for Pride month are not giving back to the LGBT+ community.

filmbetrachterin / Pixabay

Research conducted by marketing experts, have noticed that only 64 per cent of companies undertaking promotional activity surrounding Pride are giving back to the community – while the research shows that nearly 90 per cent of the LGBT+ community feel that all brands using Pride should donate to LGBT+ causes.

Marketing experts noticed this spike in Pride campaigns by brands and decided to investigate their commitment to the LGBT+ cause, and how those in the community feel about the increase in ‘corporate Pride’. To do this they looked at 122 companies, of varying sizes, to see what LGBT+-related marketing they were doing, whether this was the first time they have done something for Price, and whether they were donating any proceeds to relevant charities.

Rainbow Capitalism

rihaij / Pixabay

The marketing agency also took into account a survey of 250 LGBT+ respondents, answering questions on how they felt about ‘Rainbow Capitalism’.

There has indeed been an increase in 2019 of brands taking part in Pride month. The results revealed that almost a third of the companies (29%) analysed had never done an LGBT-related marketing campaign before 2019.

Furthermore, only 64% of those with a campaign for Pride this year donated to charitable LGBT+ causes. This has caused a stir in the LGBT+ community, with 87% of those questioned stating that ALL corporations should be donating proceeds to relevant charities.


The survey also revealed that 9% of participants stated that they would go as far as purposefully NOT purchasing brand Pride tie-ins.

This is perhaps a wise choice as, upon further investigation of each company’s CEI (Corporate Equality Index) score (when available), over 1 in 10 companies scored less than 80% for their “steps to ensure greater equity for LGBT+ workers and their families in the form of comprehensive policies, benefits and practices”, with the majority of these failing to provide “equivalency in same and different-sex domestic partner medical and soft benefits”  and showing a lack of “equal health coverage for transgender individuals without exclusion for medically necessary care.”

Rainbow Bandwagon

Rainbow laces

Clothing brand H&M was given a meagre CEI score of 45% by HRC. Yet they have participated in “corporate pride” this year, with their ‘pride collection’- although they are donating 10% of their proceeds to “support the work of the United Nations’ Free & Equal campaign”- unlike 34% of other companies jumping on the rainbow bandwagon without giving back.

Other findings from the survey conducted revealed that 84% felt that they felt “positively” about these branded Pride campaigns, with one stating “celebration of LGBTQ is great to raise awareness, especially to younger generations”.

The LGBT+ community were unanimous in thinking that corporations should “do more throughout the year to help LGBT+ causes, rather than just for Pride month”, with 96% of respondents agreeing with this sentiment.

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