The campaign launched earlier this year to promote diversity and inclusion caused strong opposition from the authorities in Hungary. Culminated recently with the court ruling ordered the company to pay a fine and remove ad but left questions open.
There are several countries in Eastern Europe where LGBTQ community is strongly oppressed if not banned at all. We have previously reported a lot about Poland where law and justice are often enforced. Another shocking example is Hungary. The ruling Fidesz party is persistent in attempts of erasing LGBTQ people from the society. The most recent case with Coca-Cola that launched “Zero sugar, zero prejudice” ads this August has now been ruled. Coca-Cola has been fined and the ad has been banned in Hungary. Sad, but expected.
What is more, the justification sounds alarming. The ad has been defined as “detrimental to the physical, mental, emotional and moral development of children and minors”. Cola-Cola, however, hit back all the allegations. “In our ad campaign, we underlined the principles we represent, such as our belief in the equality of people,” reads the company statement. Unfortunately, Hungarian society seems to be supportive. The petition of anti-LGBTQ group CitizenGo gathers more and more signatures nationwide. The campaigners claim that “homosexual advertising is going on in the streets of the city, in places where children can see it.” So what? Whynot to provide children different points of view and let them decide later on? The fine for diversity and inclusion will be paid right away but what about the opportunities lost for Hungary?