August 14th, 2013
Two weeks ago I discussed why it is that I believe that SPI Group, the makers of Stolichnaya Vodka (Stoli) outside of Russia, had badly bungled the public relations surrounding the Russian vodka boycott.
It’s actually worse than I knew at the time.
One of the points of defense raised by SPI as evidence of their support for the gay community was a beauty contest called Stoli Guy: (Queerty)
Stoli is very proud of its current exclusive national partnership with Gaycities.com and Queerty.com in search of the Most Original Stoli Guy. This is a fantastic program that started as a local initiative in Colorado and became a national platform.
I shrugged this off as a marketing ploy to attract gay revelers to choose Stoli vodka. It’s barely that.
Look closely at what Stoli offers the winners: (StoliGuy)
It looks like Andrew Christian might be forking out some cash (or, at least, free product) and GayCities might be buying a plane ticket, but what is Stoli contributing? Are they really only offering the chance to be an ambassador, aka the guy who goes around bar to bar and says, “Hey, have you tried Stoli Passionfruit? Here’s a discount ticket for your next Stoli drink!”
Not exactly a sponsorship that makes me want to extol their astonishing support.
But Stoli has seen an opportunity to use the Stoli Guy competition to burnish their image. Recognizing that Stoli Guy Night is more likely at this point to drive off a bar’s customers, Queerty and Stoli came up with a great idea. They’ll bribe gay customers to show up:
In lieu of the national Stoli boycott by some in the LGBT community, GayCities has convinced SPI (Stoli’s parent company) to donate $5 for each person whom RSVP’s and attends The Most Original Stoli Guy Live in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas and D.C. The participating charities include local chapters of Equality CA, Equality Texas and the HRC, all whom will be present at the events to accept the donation. GayCities is currently in discussions with SPI to select an international beneficiary that works directly in affecting change for LGBTs in Russia. The organization will be revealed live at The Most Original Stoli Guy finale, which GayCities will stream live from NYC this September.
Seriously. Five dollars.
Oh, and to make it even more exciting, if you watch the live stream of the Most Original Stoli Guy finale in September, they’ll release the name of the lucky winning organization in Russia chosen to get some part of that five dollars. Well I’m so excited I nearly wet myself.
But if you think that is perhaps the saddest attempt to fix a PR problem you’ve seen in weeks, you haven’t seen this: (Blade)
Three LGBT advocacy groups have disputed claims they will accept money from Stoli raised at events across the country.
“The Human Rights Campaign is not participating in the Most Original Stoli Guy events and is not accepting any donations related to these events or otherwise from Stoli,” Cole-Schwartz said. “The press release indicating our participation was flat out wrong and the event organizers have unfortunately not provided any information to substantiate their claim.”
The Dallas Voice reported that Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith said his organization does not have any relationship with Stoli, and would not accept any donations from the vodka brand. Joe.My.God noted an Equality California spokesperson said the group did not respond to Raymundo who sent the press release that noted their participation in the San Francisco and San Diego events that are scheduled to take place later on Wednesday and on Friday.
It hasn’t been a good month for Stoli.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.