Gay bars around the world are boycotting Stoli vodka to protest Russia’s anti-gay laws.
But the boycott unfairly targets a private company that does support gay rights, the CEO of Luxembourg-based SPI Group told Bloomberg Businessweek.
There are actually two companies that produce the vodka: A state-owned Russian company and SPI group, which sells the liquor in more than 100 countries.
CEO Val Mendeleev explained how his company has supported LGBT rights through the years. Bloomberg reports:
“The gay community ‘is one of the active consumers of Stoli,” Mendeleev says. To reach this group, Stoli, under SPI, produced a documentary series called ‘Be Real: Stories From Queer America‘ in 2006, for instance. And in search of LGBT ambassadors for the brand, Stoli has been holding a series of events in U.S. cities since July 9 called the Most Original Stoli Guy.”
Mendeleev also notes that Stoli’s home page and Facebook page display rainbows.
The boycott started after columnist Dan Savage published this story about why he was boycotting Russian vodka.
Since then, the movement mobilized on Twitter under the hash tag #dumpstoli.
But the boycott has also garnered criticism and suggestions for better ways to protest.
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