Target announced a swift reversal of a major LGBT-friendly marketing approach this week. The company had put in place a number of Pride-related displays and products, including some marketed to children, leading to growing public criticism.
In a statement, the company stated that its employees had faced “threats impacting team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work.
Target announced that it was “removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
The company removed a number of products from British-based brand Abprallen, owned by Eric “Erik” Carnell, a transgender individual. Carnell’s company created a number of items that stated “Satan Respects Pronouns.”
Abprallen is known for selling a number of items tied to the occult and satanic practices.
— National Review (@NRO) May 24, 2023
Target also carried a number of products aimed toward younger people, including a book called Bye Bye, Binary and outfits for infants with transgender messages.
The company also marketed a women’s swimsuit intended for sale to biological men.
The Associated Press reported that a number of the store’s displays have been moved to the back after considerable public protest.
The retail chain’s decision is likely linked to the recent backlash over Bud Light’s decision to partner with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The marketing push, announced by Mulvaney on social media in April, has been a major disaster for the brand. Sales of the beverage have fallen just short of 25%.
The situation for Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch has become so critical that it has assured beer distributors that it would buy back unsold Bud Light. The company is now issuing large rebates for customers to purchase the product.
One rebate shown on social media had a $20 coupon for a $19.98 case of Bud Light.
Furthermore, Anheuser-Busch is actively starting a new marketing approach. The company reshuffled its Bud Light marketing team and announced a major expansion of its ad budget.
The company currently plans to triple its summer advertising spending.