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Community backlash against ANZ #LoveSpeech Mardi Gras campaign

High-profile members of Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community have spoken out against ANZ’s latest campaign supporting Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

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The campaign released today – alongside a survey highlighting that almost 80% of Australians had experienced anti-LGBTIQ+ language in the last 12 months – features a video that depicts young LGBTIQ+ people speaking slurs directly to camera.

Many LGBTIQ+ Australians have responded to the campaign, highlighting that the video could do more harm than good.

Speaking to OUTinPerth, just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said it is clear the campaign needed to include more consultation.

“While ANZ’s intentions were good, and I’m not criticising the campaign participants, this particular campaign could have been much better executed with more expert input,” Croome said.

“The blow-back on ANZ’s social media campaign is a timely reminder to all corporate supporters of LGBTIQ people that their campaigns need to be community developed as well as community assisting.”

Activist and Change.org Executive Director Sally Rugg asked why the video couldn’t just include the “love speech”, rather than repeating harmful slurs.

“The first and second rule of campaign messaging is “don’t repeat your opponents language” and “don’t campaign in your opponents frame””, Rugg tweeted.

“@ANZ_AU you may consider this advice, or at a minimum, a recut with the slurs implied but censored.”


Speaking to 10Daily, LGBTIQ+ advocate for people living with HIV and founder of The Institute of Many Nic Holas said it is difficult to watch the young people repeat the slurs in the video.

“As a campaigner, it’s just bad. Really ineffective, shock tactic stuff dressed up as a corporation caring about LGBTQ people.”

“When non-experts with lots of cash think they can solve the problem of hate speech, you end up with ham-fisted, potentially harmful stuff like this.”

The #LoveSpeech campaign has a number of well-known LGBTIQ+ Australians attached to the initiative, including writer Benjamin Law, AFLW player Moana Hope and trans advocate Georgie Stone OAM.

Re-sharing the campaign on Twitter, Stone said “I’m so happy I get to support this campaign.”

“Hurtful language directed towards the LGBTIQ community is still so common. It is time that changes.”

Benjamin Law also retweeted the campaign, describing it as “timely.”

ANZ are yet to release an official response to the concerns, though the bank’s official Twitter account has been replying to social media concerns.

“We considered a range of community views and sought necessary classifications and ratings before sharing online,” ANZ Australia responded to one concerned viewer.

“We’re trying to show the impact hurtful language can have on individuals. Even when they aren’t intended to be offensive, words can hurt.”

OIP Staff


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