Coca-Cola advert featuring gay couples kissing causes outrage in Hungary

Petition to remove the posters has been signed by more than 25,000 people

Sarah Young
Tuesday 06 August 2019 09:31 BST

Hungarian advertisements for Coca-Cola are drawing criticism from lawmakers in the country’s conservative party for promoting acceptance of LGBT+ people.

The posters, which can be seen at train stations and bus stops in Budapest, have been displayed to coincide with a week-long progressive music festival that starts on Wednesday with the theme “Love Revolution”.

Coca-Cola’s “Love is Love” campaign features images of gay couples smiling alongside slogans such as, “Zero Sugar, Zero Prejudice.”

While the posters carry a positive message, not everyone is happy, including Boldog István, an MP from Hungary’s conservative, right-wing party Fidesz – which has held majority power in the country since 2010. István has called for a boycott of Coca-Cola products until the adverts are removed.

On Sunday, István wrote on Facebook: “Until they remove their provocative posters from Hungary, I will not consume their products! I’m asking everyone!”

A petition to remove the adverts from the subway has also been launched by unhappy protestors and has been signed by more than 25,000 people since Saturday.

The page for the petition states: “We start by boycotting Coca-Cola. And in our petition we ask for help in removing the posters as soon as possible and in curbing a homosexual lobby aimed at children, families and society as a whole.”

Coca-Cola has responded to the criticism of its campaign, stating that it is a “long-standing supporter of the LGBT+ community”.

“The Coca-Cola Company strives for diversity, inclusion and equality in our business, and we support these rights in society as well,” a company spokesperson said a statement to CNN.

“As a long-standing supporter of the LGBTQI community, we believe everyone has the right to love the person they choose.

“The campaign currently running in Hungary reflects these values."

Same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Hungary, and although registered partnerships were legalised in 2009, same-sex couples do not have the same rights as opposite-sex married couples.

This is despite polls showing that a growing number of Hungarians support gay rights.

In 2017, a survey by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association found that more than 60 per cent of the country's residents believe equal rights should be afforded to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in