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GLAAD's Helping Hand
Photograph by Alex Hoerner
Photograph by Alex Hoerner
Rashad Robinson
Senior Director of Media Programs
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
New York, New York


Rashad Robinson, 30, organized GLAAD's inaugural Media Awards in Advertising in October to applaud gay-positive creative in both the LGBT and mainstream press.

"It's still very brave when companies advertise to and support the LGBT market. Pepsi is currently being boycotted for supporting Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Wells Fargo had accounts pulled over advertisements. Campbell's ignited a fire among the religious right when it ran a full-page ad in The Advocate that showed two real lesbian moms feeding their son a bowl of soup. Those boycotts have not been successful. Campbell's and Wells Fargo continue to run ads with gay folks.

Part of our role at GLAAD is to herald their bravery, but we often help companies while they're still storyboarding an ad to make sure they get the tone right. Bromance is an advertising trend now, and it's meant to walk a humorous tightrope, but it often falls far short. In a Snickers Super Bowl commercial a few years ago, two men accidentally kiss over a candy bar and one bashes the other's head into a car. Viewers were horrified, and the ad was pulled immediately. Believe me, if there was no need to advocate for these issues, we would have no need for this program."

A version of this article appeared in the November 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.