Tesco has come under fire for a joint promotion with confectionery brand Skittles to celebrate Pride in London – a gay rights festival.
All-white packets of Skittles are being sold in stores across the UK alongside explanatory text which reads: “During Pride, only one rainbow matters. So we’ve given ours up to show support.”
Proceeds from each packet sold will be given to LGBT organisations chosen by Tesco.
Skittles’ brand owner Wrigley said its decision to drop the iconic rainbow branding from packets is intended to show support for Pride in London and “celebrate diversity and inclusion”.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said people should know that Tesco has gone “out of its way” to back the LGBT agenda.
“Why do any kind of sweets need to be politicised? People should be able to buy their favourite confectionery without being forced to consume a political message as well.”
In 2011, Tesco sparked outrage when it dropped its support for the Cancer Research ‘Race for Life’, and announced shortly after that it would become a headline sponsor of Pride in London.
At the time, critics asked why it had chosen to align itself with an “aggressive political organisation”, instead of another mainstream charity such as the British Legion or Age UK.
Following the criticism, the supermarket giant indicated that it would no longer sponsor homosexual pride events and would look for other ways to promote LGBT issues in ways which do “not include sponsoring events”.
Pride in London
However, in recent years the supermarket has been named as a “gold” supporter of Pride in London.
This year, it has pledged to create a large float for the gay pride march and hand out free drinks and sweets to those in attendance.
Pride in London takes place between 24 June and 9 July. All-white Skittles will be sold in Tesco stores until September this year.
In 2012, Tesco named Cancer Research as its charity of the year. The supermarket is currently an official partner of the Race for Life. Tesco estimates that it has raised over £20 million for the event.