Late last month, Suitsupply, the global men’s tailoring brand, released their new SS18 collection ad campaign featuring love and intimacy between two men for its “everyday gentlemen” brand. However, reaction from homophobes has been swift: Not only did the company get a bunch of homophobic Instagram comments and lose 14,000 followers after publishing the campaign’s images there, a recent post on Reddit shows a Suitsupply ad defaced in public.
The image posted on Reddit shows a Suitsupply poster on a street sign in the Netherlands. The vandal posted a large piece of paper covering up the faces of the men kissing in the ad and then put multiple strands of yellow tape over their heads entirely. (You can see the uncensored photo above.)
It’s particularly interesting because the Netherlands give LGBTQ citizens a high-level of civil and human rights. The country has legalized same-sex marriage, adoption rights, workplace and public accommodation protections, the right to serve in the military, the right to change one’s gender and they allow gay men to donate blood after a year of celibacy. (Okay, that last one’s not perfect, but…)
As one Reddit commenter named Grabbels wrote:
It’s concerning that even in places where acceptance seems to be high (this is the urban area of the Netherlands), things like this are still happening. I feel privileged to live here and be accepted for who I am; that makes it the more troubling to come across something like this and realize your safety might just not be guaranteed…
Naturally, Suitsupply founder and CEO Fokke De Jong knew that his same-sex campaign might get pushback. Jong said, “We do believe there is potential for negative impact, especially in countries where we have a significant presence.”
However, he is not deterred.
“We do not aim to and cannot control the reactions,” Jong said. “However, the new followers and positive messages that have been prominent in our social media is a good indicator that this campaign has been well received and has impacted many people positively. It’s amazing what one kiss can do.”