General Mills, Inc. (GIS) Is Proud to Celebrate Alternative Lifestyles

Following its surprisingly controversial Cheerios commercial featuring a mixed-race family, cereal maker General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) came out in support of Gay Pride Month using its Lucky Charms marshmallow rainbow as its rallying flag.

Complete with a website designed around the hashtag #LuckyToBe, where cereal lovers can share stories of why you’re “lucky to be you,” and a commercial that extols the virtues of individual uniqueness, General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) continues to be progressive in its ideals.

It’s not really a new position the cereal maker has taken, as it has been an advocate in favor of alternative lifestyles for some time, speaking out last year against a Minnesota constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality as well as supporting workplace protections to the LGBT community in testimony before the U.S. Senate and in a company blog post.

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS)

Yet for all that, its ad campaign and marketing efforts are surprisingly devoid of any specific reference to LGBT individuals, which apparently is by design. In an interview with industry trade site BakeryandSnacks.com, General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) said the campaign is not really about any one group and it wants to be inclusive of all individuals.

Video: #LuckyToBe 100% Me

Where companies used to keep their views on social mores to themselves, these days corporations are very publicly wearing them on their sleeves. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz pushed back at its annual shareholder meeting against the notion that its stance in favor of same-sex marriage hurt company profits, telling the investor who’d posed the question:

If you feel respectfully that you can get a higher return than the 38% that you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares at Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.

Last year the old Kraft snack foods company (now Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ)) stirred up controversy by posting a picture of a rainbow Oreo to its Facebook page. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has also come in for sustained criticism for hiring openly gay entertainer Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman, and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) CEO John Mackey has long considered inclusiveness as part of his “conscious capitalism” credo.

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS)’s efforts show it’s willing to tackle large social issues with its marketing, and it’s commendable that the company is supportive of a more inclusive society, but it does risk alienating a sizable portion of its consumers who might not agree with its public stance.

While proponents of the positions may believe letting those who disagree go elsewhere is best in the long run, as the very incendiary reaction to Chick-fil-A’s CEO comments about same-sex marriage along with Mackey’s criticism of Obamacare showed, serving up a bowl of politics may not always sit well with consumers.

Companies should realize there may come a time when their advocacy creates a backlash that sours the milk.

The article General Mills Is Proud to Celebrate Alternative Lifestyles originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Rich Duprey.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Starbucks and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM).

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Biotech Insider Alert - $6 Stock To Hit $40

$200 Million Dollar Healthcare Hedge Fund's #1 Best Idea Right Now

The best healthcare hedge fund out there right now is one of the largest shareholders in this biotech stock. The fund returned more than 20% in each of the last 2 years with a virtually fully hedged portfolio, and it's sending out a BUY signal on this biotech stock. Get your FREE REPORT today (retail value of $300)

This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Click here to Read Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 74 percentage points in 2.5 years. Our beta is only 1.2 (download a FREE newsletter and see the details inside)

Lists

Best Selling Magazines in the World

Shortest People in History

The Most Celebrated Holidays in the World

Most Expensive Handbag Brands in the World

Top Selling Comic Book Issues of this Century

The Most Powerful Women in Politics

Best Paid DJs

Most Rebellious Female Artists

Best Paid TV Actresses of 2014

Best Paid Actors of 2014

Most Expensive Horses in the World

Tallest People Ever

Most Encouraging Feminist Celebrities

Best Paid Supermodels of 2014

Top 10 Suburbs for Retirement in 2015

10 Wealthiest Cities in America

Top 10 TED Talks for Entrepreneurs

Best TED Talks on Education

25 Most Dangerous Places to Live in America

Top 10 Ski Resorts in the United States – 2014 List

Top 10 Most Remote Places in the World

Most Visited Museums in the United States

Wealthiest Photographers in the World

Most Famous Gay Athletes

The World’s Most Famous Circuses

Best Hair Stylists

Most Popular NASCAR Drivers

The Best Romance Movies of all Time

The Most Wanted Drug Lords

The Oldest Money Managers

The Greatest Directors in the World

Largest Animals in the World

World’s Most Expensive Desserts

Best Selling Comic Books of All Time

A-list Actors who Sabotaged Their Career

Rappers With a College Degree

The Best Jazz Albums of all Time

The Most Influential Jazz Musicians

The World’s Most Famous Photographers

The Best Oscar-Winning Songs

Most Influential Choreographers Ever

Most Expensive Department Stores in the World

The Most Expensive Stolen Paintings in the World

The World’s Most Expensive Teas

Top Oscar Record Holders

The Most Expensive Flowers in the World

Countries With a Booming Film Industry

Most Expensive Cupcakes in the World

Uncommon European Escapes

The Most Stolen Artists in History

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 129% in 2.5 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!