VkusVill removes ad featuring queer family, apologizing to customers and suppliers for “hurt feelings”
July 4, 2021
The retail chain VkusVill has apologized for an advertisement featuring a queer family. The company’s press release notes that the deleted piece “hurt the feelings of a large number of our customers, employees, partners and suppliers.” In the release, which was signed by company’s founder and its regional managers, the advertisement was dubbed a “mistake that manifested the unprofessionalism of individual employees.”
On June 30, VkusVill published on its website the story of a family consisting of a mother and two daughters [sic], one of whom is engaged to a young woman [sic]. In addition, the “Consumer School” section contained stories from other customers of the store: a woman who lives with a dog, a couple without children, a large family, and a single mother. They talked about themselves and their favorite VkusVill products.
After the advertisement was published, VkusVill and the queer heroines of the article began to receive threats.
Roman Polyakov, the manager of the store’s content factory, told Takie Dela that the store’s employees regularly touch on hot-button topics, including the problems of refugees, people with autism, and people with Down syndrome, and the topic of garbage recycling. He told Takie Dela that VkusVill valued examining issues from different sides.
He added that “it would be untrue” to say that there are no such families among VkusVill’s clients, so he had decided to include [the queer family] in the feature.
According to Polyakov, employees of the content factory consulted with lawyers on how to correctly submit information about LGBT people from the legal point of view, and also discussed with smm specialists and hotline employees how to react to customer dissatisfaction.
Translated by the Russian Reader
A screenshot of the page containing VkusVill’s abject apology to violent Russian homophobes for their queer-positive ad. The page is entitled “Recipes for Domestic Bliss.”
This page contained an article that has hurt the feelings of a large number of our customers, employees, partners and suppliers.
We regret that this happened, and we consider this publication our mistake, which manifested the unprofessionalism of individual employees.
Our company’s goal is to enable our customers to receive fresh and delicious products every day, not to publish articles that reflect political or social views. In no way did we want to become a source of discord and hatred.
We sincerely apologize to all our customers, employees, partners and suppliers.
Andrey Krivenko, Founder
Valera Razgulyaev, Information Manager
Alyona Nesiforova, Unified Concept Manager
Yevgeny Kurvyakov, Development Manager
Yevgeny Rimsky, Quality and Procurement Manager
Tatyana Berestova, Regional Manager
Lyubov Frolova, Regional Manager
Renata Yurash, Regional Manager
Svetlana Lopatina, Regional Manager
Larisa Romanovskaya, E-Commerce Manager
Kirill Shcherbakov, Micromarket Department Director
Maxim Fedorov, Order Manager
Source: VkusVill website. Translated by the Russian Reader.
VkusVill’s ad spotlights a “matriarch,” her partner and two daughters who practice ethical veganism, support fair trade and provide shelter to LGBT people in need. Image: VkusVill Natural Products/Facebook/Moscow Times
Russian Food Retailer Defies ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law With LGBT Family-Featuring Ad
July 2, 2021
Russian organic food retailer VkusVill has featured an LGBT family in its new promotional material this week, defying the country’s law against “gay propaganda toward minors.”
As part of a series of health-conscious families, VkusVill spotlights a “matriarch” Yuma, her partner Zhenya and two daughters Mila and Alina, who practice ethical veganism, support fair trade and provide shelter to LGBT people struggling to find acceptance in their own families.
“We believe not featuring the families of our real customers would be hypocritical,” VkusVill said, warning readers to “weigh all the pros and cons” before continuing further.
The popular retail chain marked its June 30 promotional piece with an “18+” label to comply with the anti-LGBT propaganda law.
“Family is blood ties or a stamp in a passport. Let’s rethink this. In the 21st century, it’s primarily people who love us, those who will always shield us, people with whom we go through life together,” the promotion says.
Law enforcement authorities, who usually file misdemeanor charges against violators — the most recent of which were the authors of a Dolce & Gabbana Instagram ad showing kissing same-sex couples — have not yet commented on VkusVill’s publication.
Notorious anti-gay St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov took to social media to condemn the “pagan” ad.
Other social media users — which the MBKh Media news website reported swarmed VkusVill’s social media after a notorious anti-LGBT hate group reposted the article — posted threats against the chain.
Western countries and human rights activists have criticized Russia’s 2013 “gay propaganda” law as well as 2020 constitutional changes that contain a clause defining marriage as between a man and a woman only.
Perhaps the most important thing to our family is care and acceptance. And we also fiercely protect each other and all support each other as much as possible. And we also try to help others. And today @vkusvill_ru posted a piece featuring us, and I’m amazed at how much support I saw there!!! “Others” are not so different at all))) it turns out that we are all our kind!!!
I love you! Kind, caring, accepting, gutsy, brave, making the world a world)
💞 💞 💞 💞 💞 💞 💞
Source: Instagram/Moscow Times. Translated by the Russian Reader