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Skittles LGBTQ Packaging

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Skittles LGBTQ Packaging

Skittles, the popular candy brand, is facing backlash from conservative groups due to its recent shift towards pro-LGBTQ messaging on its packaging. This move has sparked discussions reminiscent of previous boycotts, such as the Bud Light-Dylan Mulvaney controversy that led to significant financial losses for the beer brand.

The criticism began when Skittles’ parent company, the Wrigley Company, owned by Mars Incorporated, introduced new packaging designs featuring LGBTQ-friendly illustrations and messages. The traditional rainbow-colored packaging was replaced with predominantly black and white designs, featuring phrases like “Black Trans Lives Matter” and “Joy is Resistance.” The new packaging was developed in collaboration with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), marking the fourth consecutive year of partnership between the candy company and the organization in their efforts to promote inclusivity and tolerance.

While many brands have been advocating similar messages for years, conservative voices have recently amplified their opposition, drawing parallels to the widely publicized boycott of Bud Light due to its association with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The Bud Light boycott resulted in a substantial drop in profits for Anheuser-Busch, the parent company, with estimated losses of up to $4 billion.

Skittles is now the latest target of these sentiments, with online users expressing their displeasure over the candy brand’s new direction. Some users have taken to platforms like Twitter and TikTok to voice their disapproval and call for a boycott, arguing that Skittles’ packaging promotes activism related to the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ+ rights.

Critics argue that Skittles’ mission to highlight LGBTQ+ stories and messages this year is a commendable initiative, while others view it as an attempt to impose a particular ideology on consumers, causing concern among conservatives who oppose these views.

Melissa Harris, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for GLAAD, defended the collaboration between Skittles and the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization. She stated that the partnership aims to facilitate dialogue that can lead to positive cultural change, promoting awareness, support, and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community while advocating for diversity and inclusion.

As the discussions continue, the situation has drawn attention to the broader issues surrounding the intersection of corporate messaging, social values, and consumer sentiment. Just as in previous instances, the controversy surrounding Skittles’ new packaging highlights the challenges companies face when navigating the complexities of societal debates and values in their branding and messaging strategies.

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