Swedish clothing company Björn Borg released a pro-gay, underwear advertisement in Russia’s only daily English newspaper, the Moscow Times.
Comprising an image of a multicolored stack of men’s briefs, the ad bears a clear resemblance to the gay pride symbol along with a caption that reads, “Björn says da!” The word “da” translates to “yes” in Russian.
It’s simple, yet it makes a point. Perhaps the subtlety of the message is what allowed the ad to slip through censors and into the Moscow Times.
“The advert is a way for us to reach Russian influencers,” Björn Borg marketing director Linda Söderqvist told Adweek. “Björn Borg as a brand has always advocated equality on all levels.”
In a press release, Söderqvist added that Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws are a significant issue of human rights.
“It is a human right to love and to make love to whoever you choose, and we want to make a point of that through the advert in Moscow Times today,” reads the release.
Yelena Goltsman, founder and co-president of Russian-American LGBT association RUSA LGBT, thanked GLAAD for their solidarity.
“Thank you, Björn!” said Goltsman. “Pro-LGBT actions and statement inside Russia are key in reaching Russian influencers with pro-LGBT messages and supporting the LGBT community of Russia.
“Björn Borg has found a clever way to do that through marketing…We welcome multiple methods of support, and we invite all LGBT advocates to find ways, both inside and outside the country, to stand in solidarity with LGBT Russians.”