Advertising drives people nuts. Sometimes it’s for a sensible reason, like when Dodge Ram used a Martin Luther King Jr. speech to sell trucks during the recent Super Bowl, but all too often it’s because of some form of intolerance. Back in the spring of 2016, an Old Navy ad featuring an interracial couple sent antiquated-brain Twitterers into a tizzy, for instance, and now a clothing brand is dealing with a digital backlash for its ads featuring same-sex couples.
Dutch menswear company Suitsupply recently introduced a line of ads in which men get extra cozy with other men. Although the ads are mostly in print and outdoor, here’s a video that should convey the gist.
While a quick scan of the brand’s social media feeds shows much support for Suitsupply’s foray into LGBT-inclusiveness, it also reveals plenty of ire. Scroll down on Facebook and you’ll find comment after comment from people who simply cannot abide the sight of men cavorting with other men. In fact, as the culture site Bored Panda reports, the company has lost over 10,000 followers on Instagram since the campaign began.
While social capital is important in any modern business, and perhaps more than average when it comes to fashion, it isn’t everything. Only the next financial report will reveal whether the campaign was a success or not. In the meantime, Suitsupply will likely reap some sales benefits from having created a small controversy, and its executives can enjoy the accolades for their commitment to representation.