Saboteur: Company CEO Guido Barilla
Big Mistake (Huge): On September 25, 2013, Guido Barilla, CEO of family-owned, global pasta giant Barilla, was asked during a radio interview whether he would ever use gay families in his company’s advertising. His answer? “We won’t include gays in our ads, because we like the traditional family. If gays don’t like it, they can always eat another brand of pasta. Everyone is free to do what they want, provided it doesn’t bother anyone else.” Barilla also added that his “idea of family is a traditional one in which the woman has a fundamental role.”
Fallout: There was an immediate backlash on social media, with LGBTQ activists calling for a boycott of the company’s products, which continues. Just in time for National Pasta Month (October).
Pictures like this appeared all over the Internet within hours.
Leaving the door open for competitors to show their open-minded, inclusiveness.
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