retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Detroit Free Press reports that Kellogg's is taking some fire from conservative groups upset with its sponsorship of a gay pride parade in Atlanta and an advertisement that shows Tony the Tiger, the longtime Frosted Flakes character, saying, "Wear your stripes with pride."

The American Family Association posted the ad on its website to call attention to the Kellogg's sponsorship, and the Free Press says that it got responses that were both critical and supportive of the cereal company. ChristianPost writes that Kellogg's "is 'experiencing a backlash from Christian consumers,' and said AFA responded that it wants companies to 'remain neutral' in what it called the 'battle over same-sex marriage'."

Mark King, Kellogg's global head of diversity, says that the company "is firmly committed to diversity and inclusion and puts a tremendous amount of effort toward ensuring equality through our policies, benefits and culture. We are honored to have been named a Top 50 company for Diversity by DiversityInc, and for achieving a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index."

The ad said that "At Kellogg, we're an evolving culture that respects and accepts employees' sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression so that all employees can be authentic and fully engaged."
KC's View:
I have no doubt that some Christians are offended by Kellogg's expressions of tolerance and inclusivity. But I know some Christian who likely are feeling no such thing.

I'm not sure that neutrality if a real option for companies, much as some probably would like it to be. I think that in the current environment, when issues involving social responsibility actually can have an impact on how people shop and transparency makes it critical that companies state their positions, companies actually have to say what they are for and what they are against.

I also think it is a measure of how society is evolving that anti-gay rights activists now are hoping that companies will choose neutrality as their default position. I did a quick check on Wikipedia, and saw there that 33 out of 50 states now recognize same-sex marriage, and that more than 7,000 companies now offer same-sex spousal benefits.