This week fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana ignited a controversy by calling babies born from in-vitro fertilization "synthetic." They also said that gay people (and they are both openly gay) shouldn’t be parents.
Singer Elton John took offense to those comments and their idea of a traditional family by launching a boycott against the brand. iitasLBi (the once and future DigitasLBi, part of Publicis Groupe) is showing its support for John and the boycott by dropping the letters D and G from its name for a week.
A memo to agency staffers yesterday from North American CEO Tony Weisman and the agency’s chief creative officer formerly known as Ronald Ng (an identity he will re-assume next week) read:
“Folks, Tony and Ronal N
here. Yes, Ronal is dropping the D and G from his name. I’m dropping my middle initial (G). And for the next week, DigitasLBi is, too.
“You’ve probably heard about the recent controversy surrounding Dolce & Gabbana’s comments on IVF and (their idea of) ‘traditional’ family. It’s caused a global uproar, largely led by Elton John’s pledge to #BoycottDolceGabbana.
“And today, we’re taking a stand – to support Elton’s movement. To support diversity, acceptance, family – in all its forms. To #dropDandG.
“Shortly, we’ll change our name (meet: “iitasLBi”) across our social channels, office signage, and email signatures (artwork below, so you can, too).
“Join us in taking a stand. In celebrating equality and diversity. In dropping D and G.
- Tony & Ronal”.
Earlier today press following the D&G story carried a somewhat embarrassing photo of John walking around Los Angeles with a Dolce & Gabbana shopping bag firmly in his grip after he had declared the boycott. A press rep for John was quoted saying that the iconic pop star was carrying the bag but hadn’t been shopping at a D&G store.
E! Entertainment’s website also carried updated statements from the designer team: "I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people's choices and decisions," Dolce said. "I'm Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I've known...But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family."
The website also carried a similar statement from Gabbana: “It was never our intention to judge other people's choices. We do believe in freedom and love," he said, adding, "We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it."