Rainbow Capitalism: Only 64% of Brands with Pride Campaigns are Donating to LGBT+ Causes


  • 64% of companies doing a pride campaign are donating to an LGBT cause
  •  29% of companies have never done a pride campaign previous to 2019
  • 12% of companies were rated under “80%” by HRC for their equality policies
  • Almost a quarter of the LGBT community feel brands use Pride month to sell products
  • 87% of the LGBT community feel ALL brands should donate to causes


From LGBT+ banks to rainbow mouth wash, regardless of your feelings on the matter, you will have undoubtedly seen corporations using Pride rainbows and other LGBT+ symbols to market their products or services this month (Pride month). 

Marketing experts Rebootonline.com noticed this spike in Pride campaigns by brands and decided to investigate their commitment to the LGBT+ cause, and how those in the community feel about the increase in ‘corporate Pride’. To do this, they looked at 122 companies of varying sizes, to see what LGBT+-related marketing they were doing, whether this was the first time they had done something for Price, and whether they were donating any proceeds to relevant charities.

The marketing agency also took into account a survey of 250 LGBT+ respondents, answering questions on how they felt about ‘Rainbow Capitalism’.

The Results:

There has indeed been an increase of brands taking part in Pride month in 2019. The results revealed that almost a third of the companies (29%) analyzed had never done an LGBT-related marketing campaign before 2019. Click To Tweet

Furthermore, only 64% of those with a campaign for Pride this year donated to charitable LGBT+ causes. This has caused a stir in the LGBT+ community, with 87% of those questioned stating that ALL corporations should be donating proceeds to relevant charities. 

The survey also revealed that 9% of participants stated that they would go as far as purposefully NOT purchasing brand Pride tie-ins.  

This is perhaps a wise choice as, upon further investigation of each company’s CEI (Corporate Equality Index) score (when available), over 1 in 10 companies scored less than 80% for their “steps to ensure greater equity for LGBTQ workers and their families in the form of comprehensive policies, benefits and practices”, with the majority of these failing to provide “equivalency in same and different sex domestic partner medicaland soft benefits”  and showing a lack of “equal health coverage for transgender individuals without exclusion for medically necessary care.”

Clothing brand H&M was given a meager CEI score of 45% by HRC. Yet they have participated in “corporate pride” this year, with their ‘pride collection’- although they are donating 10% of their proceeds to “support the work of the United Nations’ Free & Equal campaign”- unlike 36% of other companies jumping on the rainbow bandwagon without giving back.

Other findings from the survey conducted revealed that 84% felt that they felt “positively” about these branded Pride campaigns, with one stating “celebration of LGBTQ is great to raise awareness, especially to younger generations”. 

The LGBT+ community was unanimous in thinking that corporations should “do more throughout the year to help LGBT+ causes, rather than just for Pride month”, with 96% of respondents agreeing with this sentiment. 

Full survey results:

Are you more/less likely to buy a product with LGBT/Pride packaging?

More 18%
Less 9%
It wouldn’t affect my purchasing decisions 73%

How do you feel about brands using Pride month to create LGBT campaigns?

Positive 84%
Negative 10%
Not sure 6%

Do you think brands use Pride month to sell products rather than trying to help the cause?

Definitely most do 23%
Some do 66%
No, I think all brands are trying to raise awareness 11%

Do you think all Pride campaigns should donate to LGBT causes?

Yes 87%
Not necessarily, awareness is enough 13%

Should brands be more supportive of PRIDE throughout the whole year and not just during PRIDE month?

Yes 96%
Not necessarily 4%

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