The North Face LGBTQ+ Campaign Sets New Rules for How Brands Should Handle Backlash

The North Face LGBTQ+ Campaign Sets New Rules for How Brands Should Handle Backlash

News by Anja PaspaljAnja Paspalj
Published: May 29, 2023

The North Face is getting a taste of LGBTQ+ backlash following the release of its "Summer of Pride” campaign, featuring drag queen Pattie Gonia.  

A spot featuring Pattie Gonia dressed in the outdoor brand’s exclusive Pride Month collection saw the drag artist inviting all North Face lovers to “come out in nature” for its pride tour event taking place across the U.S., set to include panels, workshops, and featured speakers. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pattie Gonia (@pattiegonia)

Similarly to the Bud Light controversy, instigated by an Instagram post with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, The North Face quickly received widespread criticism from conservatives. Some consumers even called for a boycott of the brand’s products.  

Right-wing conservative congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene publicly tweeted about her stance on the campaign, accusing the brand of “sexually targeting children.” 

The North Face is one of many brands recently coming under fire for campaigns celebrating this year’s Pride Month. 

Target received similar criticism for its Pride-themed collection and responded by announcing that it would move its Pride displays to the back of stores in southern states where criticism was strongest. 

Unlike in the cases of Bud Light and Target, The North Face has firmly stood by its “Summer of Pride” with Pattie Gonnia. 

(Source: The North Face)

“We are honored and grateful to support partners like Pattie Gonia who help make this vision a reality. … Creating community and belonging in the outdoors is a core part of our values and is needed now more than ever. We stand with those who support our vision for a more inclusive outdoor industry,” the company said in an official statement to Newsweek. 

This stance has gained the brand praise from the LGBTQ+ community and its supporters, solidifying The North Face’s inclusive policy and offering a strong example of reputation management.

Subscribe to Spotlight Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest industry news