Reuters reports that anti-gay activist group the Narodny Sobor (‘People’s Council’) plans to picket shops selling milk produced by PepsiCo’s Russian subsidiary Wimm Bill Dann.
The patriotic non-profit activist group, established in 2005, is a collective that amalgamates 250 pressure groups that oppose uncontrolled immigration, totalitarian sects, corruption, gay parades and sex education for children.
The group is protesting against sales of the ‘Jolly Milkman’ or Vesyoliy Molochnik brand, because they believe a rainbow on packaging constitutes homosexual propaganda.
PepsiCo/Wimm-Bill-Dann declined to comment to DairyReporter.com on the issue.
Shop pickets planned
The People’s Council has asked prosecutors to take action against the company for violating a local law passed in February that made illegal to spread propaganda that could “damage the health, moral and spiritual development of the underaged”.
A maximum fine of 500,000 roubles can be levied for the offence, and activist Anatoly Artyukh told the Russian press: “In the near future we are planning to picket the shops and hand out leaflets informing people that the money they spent on this milk will be used to finance gay propaganda.”
Now I’m a fairly liberal-minded man, but surely even a hatchet-headed extremist would be hard-pressed to link the presence of a rainbow on a milk carton to pro-homosexual ‘propaganda’ on PepsiCo’s part?
This complaint and the threat of a picket is patently ridiculous – dreamt up by a group people whose time would be far better spent trying to, say, square the circle or tackling corruption and totalitarian sects, as per their website teaser.
What next? Would too much blue on a milk carton constitute implied support for the Democratic Party in the States? Would the appearance of a church in a photo on a beverage carton signal support for institionalized religion?
Strip the sky of clouds…
Perhaps we’d better strip the skies of meteorological effects altogether where the frothy politics of milk cartons are concerned. Let’s ban birds, blizzards, clouds…
One telling irony is that, beyond it’s use as a ‘freedom flag’ symbolizing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride since the late 1970’s in the US, Russian political party Patriots of Russia (did you clock the name?) also uses a rainbow in their flag.
Beyond this witch hunt against a perfectly respectable brand, launched upon a quite spurious basis, we find an equally distasteful diatribe related to a large group of people in Russian society.
Food and beverage brands should eschew politics and religion as much as possible. But there is no explicit link here, just the dull, soporific inevitability that arises when a bunch of obsessional neurotics link unrelated ideas to a center point they can’t leave alone.