Worldwide protests demand Sochi 2014 sponsors 'speak out' for gay rights

Sochi 2014: a BBC TV trailer for its coverage of the forthcoming Winter Olympics
Sochi 2014: a BBC TV trailer for its coverage of the forthcoming Winter Olympics

Protests are being held in 19 cities around the world demanding the Olympic sponsors "speak out now" about anti-gay laws in Russia, the host country of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Sponsors including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, P&G, Samsung and Visa are being targeted by the gay rights campaign after Russian president Vladimir Putin introduced laws against "gay propaganda".

The protests have been organised by the All Out organisation and are being held today, with the London protest due to take place at 6pm at Downing Street.

The Facebook group for the London protest states that the "sponsors think they can stay silent and run down the clock, but that won’t work if each of us – their customers – demand that they stand with us".

All Out argues that the sponsors have invested millions in the Olympics and billions in the Russian economy, and as a result, have "huge economic leverage" with Russia’s government".

The aim of the campaign is to pressure the sponsors to speak out in support of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans Russians and help bring an end to "discriminatory laws" in Russia.

The Russian-based protest will take place in St Petersburg and those who are not able to attend any of the protests being held in the 19 major cities are being encouraged to protest outside offices and store of the sponsors and Russian embassies.

Putin claims gay people will be welcome in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, which start on Friday, as long as they do not "promote homosexuality and paedophilia among minors".


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer