Burning Question

The Oreo gay-pride cookie: Good for business?

The iconic cookie gets a stunt makeover for Gay Pride month. Liberal customers are thrilled. Conservative consumers, not so much

The image: Nabisco, the company behind Oreo cookies, has stirred up a Facebook debate after posting a photo of a radically reimagined Oreo in which the iconic white filling has been replaced with six rainbow-colored layers to support Gay Pride month. (See the photo at right and below.) As of Wednesday morning, the post — which says, in part, "Proudly support love!" — had received some 220,000 likes and over 36,000 comments, both positive and negative. The pointedly flamboyant cookie, created soley as a P.R. statement, won't be available in stores.

The reaction: It's pretty clear why Oreo is just one of a growing number of companies — JCPenney, for example — boldly embracing "gay pride as a business strategy," says Tiffany Hsu at the Los Angeles Times. The gay community may be small, but it is vocal and willing to rally "support for companies deemed to be on their side." You can bet it's rushing out to buy Nabisco's cookies. Not so fast, says Sheila Shayon at Brand Channel. Judging from "the maelstrom of divided comments" from Oreo's 26 million Facebook followers, this could be bad for business. A growing boycott threat might teach Oreo that companies can pay a steep price for taking stands on divisive issues. Well, let the haters pursue their "shortsighted" boycott, says Neetzan Zimmerman at Gawker. Nabisco, part of parent company Kraft, makes a lot more than cookies. "Good luck eating your steak without A1 Steak Sauce, homophobes." As for the rest of us: Let's cross our fingers and hope Oreo will "make the rainbow cookie a reality." See for yourself:

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