Smirnoff fights online trolling with Pride Festival campaign

4th July, 2017 by Nicola Carruthers

Smirnoff vodka has commissioned artists to respond to LGBT+ prejudice online with messages of support as part of its #ChooseLove campaign, running throughout this year’s Pride Festival in London.

Artists are responding to messages of hate with artworks depicting love

Throughout the festival, which runs from Saturday 24 June to Sunday 9 July, Smirnoff has been monitoring online social media to identify members of the LGBT+ community that have received abuse based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A task force of “dynamic and socially engaged” illustrators then respond to the messages of hate with artworks of love.

A report by Galop, a LGBT+ anti-violence charity, revealed that one in three members of the LGBT+ community have experienced online abuse targeting their sexual orientation or gender identity. In the last year, Galop has seen the level of online abuse on social media increase.

“We are proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT+ community for over 20 years,” said Anita Robinson, Smirnoff marketing director for Europe. “We feel that it is our responsibility to help encourage diversity, equality and inclusivity in society.

“Smirnoff wants to put a spotlight upon the worrying trend that Galop has identified, and through our #chooselove campaign we hope to have a positive impact that encourages a dialogue of understanding, respect and compassion both on social media and in the wider society.”

A selection of the artwork created in the campaign will be shown at an exhibition on 6 and 7 July ahead of the Pride parade on 8 July. It will be held at Kachette, 347 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LP.

Continuing its support for the LGBT+ community, Smirnoff released a new limited edition bottle design in celebration of “inclusivity, acceptance and love in all its forms”, in May this year.

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