Coca-Cola’s online bottle personalisation tool will not allow customers to customise their pride bottles with the word ‘lesbian’.
The issue was pointed out on Twitter, where Arthur Webber pointed out that typing the word ‘lesbian’ on the bottle is banned.
Coca Cola allowing you to put every anti-trans slur on their rainbow bottles but banning you from writing “lesbian” is peak corporate pride tbh
— Arthur Webber 🏳️🌈🌹 (@BernieTranders) June 22, 2021
When you try it out, the word lesbian comes up with the line, “Oops! Looks like the name you requested is not an approved one. Names may not be approved if they’re potentially offensive to other people, trademarked, or celebrity names.”
You can, though, customise the bottle to read ‘gay’, ‘transgender’ and ‘bisexual’.
The way that companies interact with Pride month – which is in June – has long been criticised for pinkwashing. Pinkwashing is where brands promote LGBTQIA+ related content for marketing purposes, rather than making institutional or structural changes to support LGBTQIA+ staff or customers.
Earlier this month, a number of American companies who engaged in this pinkwashing were revealed to have donated to politicians with significant anti-LGBT stances.
Coca-Cola itself has made 28 donations to 23 American politicians who hold anti-LGBTQ+ stances, according to Corporate Accountability Action.
Replies to the original Tweet, which has 11,000 likes, show other users pointing out actually offensive phrases that you can include on the bottle.
As one pointed out, you can literally write the words ‘cock suckers’ on the bottle – which B&T has independently verified – though you cannot write ‘cock sucker’.
They allow this though 💀 pic.twitter.com/FoeQvGC54a
— Daniel Marshall (@Danmarsh18_) June 22, 2021
You can also put the word “TERF” (trans exlcusionary radical feminist), a term which refers to people who hold anti-transgender sentiments and oppose trans rights.
Giving customers the ability to put ‘TERF’ – which literally stands for ‘trans-exclusionary’ – on a Pride month bottle, but not the word ‘lesbian’ suggests deep flaws in what Coke has labeled potentially offensive.
You also cannot include the words ‘Gay Pride’ on the Pride bottle, but you can put ‘White Pride’.
Another user pointed out that you can put ‘Orgy’, but not the word ‘Mexican’. Again, B&T has independently verified this.
— Amy Hudson is very tired (@unicorn__sauce) June 22, 2021
However, you can have a bottle which says ‘American’, ‘British’ or ‘Australian’.
The Pride bottle filter is currently only available in the US customisation store, not the Australian one.
On the Australian site, you also cannot put the word ‘lesbian’ on a Coke bottle as it is ‘a trademark or deemed too socially or religiously sensitive’.
On the Australian site, you cannot put gay, transgender or bisexual on the bottle.
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