Coca-Cola sparks controversy after it floods Hungary with same-sex advertisements

Coca-Cola’s new advertisements with same-sex couples flooded the streets of Budapest weeks after the city’s pride festival, sparking controversy after the corporation became the first to publicly promote homosexuality in the country.

Its new #loveislove campaign featuring posters of same-sex couples kissing and holding Coke bottles with the caption “zero sugar, zero prejudice” prompted objections and an online petition. One of the complaints came from István Boldog, of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, who published a Facebook post calling on everyone to boycott the corporation until it removes its “provocative posters.”

Although they were displayed a few days in advance, the adverts were aimed at the week-long Sziget festival –expected to draw over half a million people– themed “Love Revolution” which began on Wednesday.

On Aug. 3, the metro of Budapest distanced itself from the controversy issuing a statement in which it refused to take a stance, affirming that its contracted external partners are the sole responsible for the displayed content.

Days before its new campaign, Coca-Cola gave the country an environment-friendly image of the company with 70 staff members travelling to Kisköre Dam –a two hour drive from the headquarters located at the southern outskirts of Budapest– and voluntarily collecting 1.5 tonnes of waste on July 26.

Coca-Cola, which has refused to remove its new posters, responded on Monday to complaints emphasizing “we are all equal, regardless of nationality, religion, gender, age, ethnicity, spoken language, hobbies, and opinions” adding that “both heterosexuals and homosexuals have the right to love the person they choose the way it is best for them”.

Why the European Union dislikes Hungary

The European Union dislikes Hungary for several reasons such as for its refusal to accept immigration as easily as other European countries. Hungary, like Bulgaria and now Italy to a certain extent, is refusing to take part in what some see as a geopolitical strategy for the destabilisation of Europe. Kelly Greenhill calls it coercive engineered migration.

Hungary’s prioritising women and children among its refugees has resulted in Orban being demonized by the EU.

Another reason the EU dislikes Hungary is because it boldly declared its insubordination to US imperialism in 2013 when it closed down the office of the International Monetary Fund, a key institution of global governance.

And a third reason is that country’s media laws ban Western propaganda it considers as contrary to the public interest. For this reason, the European Union –which bans Iranian television stations– criticised Hungary for lacking ‘freedom of speech’.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, of the European Green Party, called Orban the next “Chavez of Europe.” Cohn-Bendit, born in France to German Jewish parents, defends paedophilia. He published statements regarding sex with children in the 1970s and ‘80s in his book The Great Bazaar (Der grosse Basar, 1975) where he describes erotic encounters with five-year-olds in his time as a teacher in a kindergarten.

An article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung uncovered several passages in Pflasterstrand, a leftist magazine for which Cohn-Bendit was, under press law, responsible. It cited a 1978 defence of Cohn-Bendit’s of this editorial practice, as well as an appearance of Cohn-Bendit in a French television talk-show in 1982 where he described a five-year-old undressing herself as an “erotic game”.

Orban’s nationalism is not an imperial project but rather a defence of traditional values and a liberation from neo-colonial oppression in the form of both international financial institutions and the EU.

Earlier this year, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary and the country’s former president, László Kövér, equated same-sex adoption to paedophilia.

“There is no difference morally in the behaviour of a paedophile and gays who want to adopt,” he stated during a forum in May. “In both of these cases, the child is an object, an item of luxury, the tool used for self-realisation and fulfilment.”

Poland is another country the EU is after until it abides by its same-sex agenda, especially since over 30 Polish towns so far have declared themselves to be “LGBT-free zones”. LGBT marches have been held at those towns since but anti-LGBT Poles have responded with further demonstrations.

Who could be funding the LGBT agenda across Europe?

Goran Miletic, a leading member of the organisation of Belgrade Pride Week since 2011, is the director the European office of Civil Rights Defenders, which operates from Sweden and is present in four continents.

Its main donor is Sida, or the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and its website says it is “a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world”.

Sida also has staff in 40 diplomatic missions worldwide.

Another office linked to the LGBT lobby is the EU’s European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, or the FRA, based in Vienna. The Budapest Pride website states that the EU was one of its main donors this year.

About The Coca‑Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. James Quincey is its chairman and CEO and Brian Smith is its president and chief operating officer. The company’s revenue in 2018 was US$31.85 billion and its total equity was US$16.98 billion.