Procter & Gable Co. has released several high-profile ads in recent years portraying LGBTQ people for Pantene, Tide, Gillette and Vicks. But a dive into its ad archives for a new branded documentary from CNN’s Great Big Story brought a surprise discovery of several Ivory ads from the 1880s with seemingly homoerotic imagery.
The video, which launches today, dovetails with a survey from GLAAD showing non-LGBTQ people exposed to LGBTQ people in entertainment or ads are more likely to be comfortable with them in their personal lives, more supportive of equal rights, and more inclined to buy brands that back such ads.
The study and video also dovetail with an effort by the Association of National Advertising to develop standards for portraying LGBTQ people in advertising. P&G Chief Brand Officer and ANA Chairman Marc Pritchard describes the effort as identifying best practices that will make it easier for brands to include LGBTQ people.
P&G’s own efforts have drawn critics on the right, particularly One Million Moms. In the video, Pritchard recounts going to a meeting several years ago of a group he declines to identify. “They said, ‘What you’re doing by your contributions to Pride and other things is that you’re supporting the other side.’ And I said, ‘Hmmm. We don’t define families. Love defines families. We serve all people. We have employees who are gay. We have consumers who are gay. We’re going to continue to serve them.’ And then I walked out.”
And P&G isn’t letting up, shown by its latest effort from House of Radon, Stockholm, showing the role hair styling plays in the lives of transgender people.