Jonathan Emmins, founder of Amplify, talks Pride and corporate sponsorship.


It’s Pride – so cue the onslaught of corporate sponsorship.

Never has there been a time where representation is more vital but communities worry that issues are being masked by a rainbow swirl of LGBT+ branding.

We’re not here for ‘woke washing’, the phenomenon that sees brands use social issues to show their credibility without making changes deeper in their working culture or supply chains.

Audiences can spot lifeless gestures by brands that jump on an LGBT+ cause only to leave it for dust a few weeks later (think: the M&S ‘LGBT Sandwich’).

But sometimes, it works. When Netflix sent its Orange is the New Black barge down an Amsterdam canal, they focused on a fan favourite that champions LGBT+ visibility in the show.

We’ve even come around to Gillette’s recent interventions. After years of deploying a narrow version of masculinity, they’re now part of an evolving definition of male identity.

Gillette should comment because of, not in spite of, its propagation of a narrow view of the male experience. Its latest ad was powerful, poignant and (crucially) centred on the experiences of trans activist Samson Bonkeabantu Brown.

But taking a stance for LGBT+ and gender rights should mean more than putting out content or sponsoring an event.