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'E'-less company seeks hate-less world via label-less bottle

by Jeremy Hooper

We once heard that if you rip the label off of your bottles of alcohol, then that means you're sexually frustrated. It's an edict that may or may not not ring true in your life. But in the case of ABSOLUT vodka, their latest de-labeling certainly shows their own sexual frustration: Frustration with the way that certain kids of sexualities have been shamed and marginalized in the global society:

no-label-absolutABSOLUT VODKA is introducing, In An ABSOLUT World, There Are No Labels, an initiative where ABSOLUT wants to challenge labels and prejudice to make the world more diverse, vibrant and respectful, and introduces a naked bottle – with no label, but with a lot of attitude. The limited edition bottle is available in selected markets starting in June 2009. At the same time ABSOLUT is launching absolut.com/nolabel where consumers from around the world are invited to discard their labels and prejudice about sexual minorities.

”For the first time we dare to face the world completely naked. We launch a bottle with no label and no logo, to manifest the idea, that no matter what’s on the outside, it’s the inside that really matters. We do it in support of the people who spend their entire lives, stamped with label by other people, says Kristina Hagbard, Global PR Manager at The Absolut Company.

And just like with LGBT people, the picture becomes more and more clear once you strip away the constructs and artifice. Although the vodka does still taste better with olives and vermouth.

The limited edition bottle is already out in some markets, but goes global in September. The National Organization For Marriage is expected to launch "Operation Smash Every Martini Glasss You Come Across" sometime soon after.

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Your thoughts

Great gimmick...works for me.

Posted by: LOrion | Aug 17, 2009 12:10:00 AM

That's pretty cool -- I might have to buy one just because. ...and that says a lot considering I only drink Boru vodka.

Posted by: Brian | Aug 17, 2009 7:56:15 AM

Doesn't work for me. Sounds a little too warm and fuzzy. And considering the gay consumer market is fiercely loyal to brands it perceives is supportive, it just seems like they are pandering to us. I'd be more receptive if some of the money from the sale of these bottles was donated to a pro-equality cause.

Posted by: stojef | Aug 17, 2009 10:12:27 AM

Absolut the principal to make your heart invincible!

Posted by: John Ozed | Aug 17, 2009 10:37:54 AM

Absoluts gay marketing is working very well, as lbgt people stereotypically (and in real life :P) drink more vodka than others, but I just think it's a nice idea, even though it's defnately a marketing ploy.

Posted by: Corvidae | Aug 17, 2009 4:03:23 PM

Ah, ya gotta love Absolut. It's a pity their vodka is undrinkable.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Aug 17, 2009 4:24:59 PM

Maybe this is the beginning of a new wave of social responsibility from major corporate interests. It would be nice to see other companies step up and make similar declarations. It also would be nice to see these corporations helping to underwrite our upcoming ballot initiative campaigns.

We as a collective purchasing power, do buy a lot of stuff. The 20 companies that collectively kick in half of the $50 million to restore marriage equality in California, or of the $2 million to protect marriage equality in Maine .. I'm just talking about myself, but I have a long memory, of the good and the bad .. investments from those firms that want our business could pay off for 20 or 30 years into the future.

I still won't buy Coors products, but would seriously reconsider if they take a similar stance. And, would go out of my way to buy their products if they contribute to our campaigns. And, Absolut doesn't seem very concerned about blowback from the anti-equality factions (probably because they only buy the no-name brands of Vodka, or sweet Spanish "box" wines). I purchase a lot of Absolut, and now will probably buy even more. If this gamble from Absolut pays off, the notion of blowback from publicly supporting us might diminish, or disappear entirely.

The best way to get other companies to commit to our cause is to reward them by purchasing their products. And when other companies see the benefits, they might jump into the deep end as well.

Is a buycott the opposite of a boycott?

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 17, 2009 6:06:03 PM

I'm not impressed at all. Numerous studies show that LGBT people have higher rates of alcohol abuse (and smoking) than the general population. This has to do with a lot of issues such as bars being the main socializing spots for many LGBTs, psychological effects of discrimination, etc. Still, I don't see how this helps. So they design a vodka bottle for us...great. Are they donating the proceeds to pro-equality groups? How about organizations that work on substance abuse in the LGBT community? I don't see that happening. I'm going to pass on this one, it just seems like pandering to me.

Posted by: Bryan | Aug 17, 2009 11:16:52 PM

Absolut has advertised in gay magazines for ages. I don't know offhand if they donate to QBTGL(etc.) causes. The GOOG would probably tell us.

Posted by: GDad | Dec 8, 2009 5:22:50 PM

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