Comments

  1. Randyowen says

    No i think the threat of Boycott forced them to make a very serious stand for the Gay community in Russia, I think (though i want to go through this again in case i missed something)they are now back on my shopping list, this response was much better than the last one. Doesn’t mean i wont keep an eye on them for the changes he stated they will move forward to, but this was a great response that will be heard by the people in Russia suffering.

  2. David says

    This guy is smart. The spirit section of the alcohol industry, is heavily, if not only, relying on marketing, so public relation and public image are extremely important.

  3. David says

    To above, Russian caviar is actually (in other parts of the world too) partially coming from China. That is not just because they share the same river origin of the fish but many other countries imported Chinese caviar and relabeled/redistributed as other production sources. The things people do not know and the things people take for truth.

  4. tranquilo says

    This boycott has seemed a little misdirected and uncreative to me. There has to be something as effective that doesn’t harm a company that is barely Russian and has long been LGBT friendly. How about pressuring performers playing Russia to cancel performances or make statements, a la “I ain’t gonna play Sun City”?

    Stoli today is not the same as Harvey Milk’s Coors.

  5. Hey Darlin' says

    I think they’ve heard the message (to support Russian LGBT rights), it may be time for an end to their specific boycott. We should see that they live up to their promises of support to LGBT organizations in Russia now. As for the Olympics, that’s a whole other much larger problem.

  6. QJ201 says

    You mean a bunch of LGBT activists got their knickers in twist and started getting all activisty without doing their homework?

    Shocking.

    NOT.

    Some queers would protest the opening of an envelope if they were incited too. Some are just so angry they need a target to vent at.

  7. AriesMatt says

    Well, the boycott has already worked and started an international conversation about the Russian anti-LGBT laws, albeit against what appears to be an innocent company who is trying to sever their ties to the country. Hope this interview gets traction, as they (Stoli) don not deserve this backlash.

  8. Dan E says

    I love people talking about how the boycott “is working.” Never mind that the company never should have been targeted in the first place.

    It sucks to feel powerless about injustice. That doesn’t really justify attacking a company that has nothing to do with the injustice, no influence over those who are committing the injustice, and cannot even SELL ITS FREAKING PRODUCT in the country where the injustice is happening.

  9. AG says

    Why are you confusing us with facts? We simply want to feel self-righteous by boycotting something Russian. Stoli vodka seems Russian, so it’s a good target for the boycott.

    Something must be done about the gay rights in Russia. Boycotting Stoli is something. Therefore, it must be done.

  10. Lucas H says

    I’m inclined to agree with some of the other commentors here. I thought this particular boycott seemed a little misguided from the beginning.
    The real target should be the olympics, IMO.

  11. 24play says

    Anyone who’s interested in the actual facts about SPI’s involvement in Russia can check out the company’s website: spi-group.com.

    What information will you find there?

    1) Two of SPI’s three production facilities are located in Russia (in Perm and Tambov).
    2) The distillery in Tambov is Russia’s largest.
    3) SPI is the world’s largest exporter of Russian vodka.
    4) While SPI cannot sell Stolichnaya in Russia, it does sell a long list of other vodka brands that it produces in Russia.
    5) The company purchases 85,000 tons of Russian grain per year.
    6) SPI’s agricultural subsidiary, Raduga, farms 3,700 hectares of land in Russia.
    7) Besides its production facilities and farmland, SPI has other significant real estate holdings in Russia.

    What won’t you find on SPI’s website?

    1) The rainbow-colored statement of LGBT solidarity that currently appears on the homepage of stoli.com.
    2) Any record of the company having spoken out against LGBT bigotry (or in favor of equality) in Russia prior to the boycott.
    3) Any indication that employees of SPI and its subsidiaries who work in Russia are covered by a corporate nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    4) Any indication that same-sex spouses or partners of employees in Russia are eligible for any of the benefits that are available to opposite-sex spouses.

  12. northalabama says

    sounds like spi benefitted monetarily for years riding the fence, taking advantage of both sides – they worked hard to maintain the illusion of the history and prestige associated with russian vodka, while making subtle changes to their labeling and working through the courts and behind the scenes to distance themselves from the russian government, hoping no one would notice.

    if this is the case, didn’t their actions, aimed at maximizing revenue and lowering risk, bring the boycott on themselves?

  13. Leo says

    For any future doubters in this comment thread, on this site, or in general of the boycott’s validity, I refer you to NorthAlabama and 24Play’s posts above.

  14. KT says

    This article left out some other facts about SPI – like the fact they sell other brands in Russia and the fact that the CEO was unaware if the company offered domestic benefits in Luxenbourg and Russia. However, that being said, I think at this point there are bigger fish to fry than Stoli – like all those American companies looking to expand their business in Russia.

  15. FakeOutrage says

    God we can be embarrassing sometimes. It doesn’t seem to matter that Stoli has uneqivocally voiced support for LGBTs, nevermind that they are not a Russian company. Now we are scouring their website looking for things to be upset about..”there’s no rainbow flag on the employee bathroom!”. Nevermind there are actual Russian based companies we can target. At this point, we are just trying to justify the fact that our “leaders” (sarcasm) didn’t do their due diligence. It makes us look unorganized and silly.

  16. GB says

    Twinkies are back in production. I’ve heard young boys referred to as Twinkies. Maybe we should buy up every one, and smash them in the street for the “racist” connotation to young gay boys.

    The marriage thing has sent some queens over the top. And no Dan. your last name is Savage not Rather.

  17. says

    firstly, well done Michelangelo. just a thought,might it not be more affecting for us all to focus on the boycott of russian export of their natural resources? this is something of which they’d sit up and take notice. after all, how many eat caviar?
    personally, in my home, i’ve switched to slightly more expensive renewable energy and now to balance the cost, i’m trying to be more conscious about turning off lights and not using the tumble dryer, and i’ve clipped an hour off either side of when my heating/water comes on. i was able to afford do this, but many probably feel they couldn’t. however, the government does have the power to threaten a boycott.
    i sense the ban on vodka was so that people could feel like we were doing something to help. it’s a bleak, desperate situation, and we’re all broken hearted, and we feel so futile. i believe people were simply trying to do something/anything to help. x

  18. says

    firstly, well done Michelangelo. just a thought,might it not be more affecting for us all to focus on the boycott of russian export of their natural resources? this is something of which they’d sit up and take notice. after all, how many eat caviar?
    personally, in my home, i’ve switched to slightly more expensive renewable energy and now to balance the cost, i’m trying to be more conscious about turning off lights and not using the tumble dryer, and i’ve clipped an hour off either side of when my heating/water comes on. i was able to afford do this, but many probably feel they couldn’t. however, the government does have the power to threaten a boycott.
    i sense the ban on vodka was so that people could feel like we were doing something to help. it’s a bleak, desperate situation, and we’re all broken hearted, and we feel so futile. i believe people were simply trying to do something/anything to help. x

  19. says

    might it not be more affecting to focus on the boycott of russian export of their natural resources? this is something of which they’d sit up and take notice. after all, how many eat caviar?
    personally, in my home, i’ve switched to slightly more expensive renewable energy and now to balance the cost, i’m trying to be more conscious about turning off lights and not using the tumble dryer, and i’ve clipped an hour off either side of when my heating/water comes on. i was able to afford do this, but many probably feel they couldn’t. however, the government does have the power to threaten a boycott.
    i sense the ban on vodka was so that people could feel like we were doing something to help. it’s a bleak, desperate situation, and we’re all broken hearted, and we feel so futile. i believe people were simply trying to do something/anything to help. x

  20. jacques Rosas says

    I Remember the same distractors for the Academy Awards in 1991 when we created the “Hollywood Homophobia” campaign.

    Its called a VISABILITY campaign and it works.

    Strange I don’t remember the big Public Relations push to tell us Stoli in no longer a Russian Vodka.

    Hate has many victims. For Stoli its just a few dollars. For the GLBT friends ds in Russia its their lives.

    I see a very slick PR campaign at work here.

    Since your no longer a “Russian” premier brand why not use this and change your name?

  21. JMC says

    Why are people acting like the Vodka boycott was a mistake? It’s what finally got the mainstream media talking about the bullsh*t that’s going on in Russia. It was a wild success, and Stoli and all the legitimately Russian Vodkas will be just fine because poorly supported boycotts by minorities just don’t work in the sense of harming a company’s bottom line.

  22. PDX_Guy says

    Here’s the part I don’t like:

    “He did admit that the company does use Russian ingredients, However, he said that the company is looking into other sources, but that will unfortunately take time.”

    “We were forced to move our headquarters from Russia about 10 years ago. ”

    So if you want to be such a non-Russian brand, why the wait in eliminating all Russian presence? In 10 years they couldn’t find other sources for ingredients? I bet there are a lot of USA and EU suppliers that would gladly have taken their business over the last 10 years. Something doesn’t smell right here.

  23. says

    Bravo 24PLAY!

    The CEO and the company have never supported LGBT rights in Russia. Never.

    And they have only supported LGBT people in the US as a marketing ploy. Only in the West. And not on principle. Just capitalism.

    IF they actually do begin financing LGBT organizations in Russia — and those organizations will need lots of money to pay fines and fight discrimination in the courts — the boycott will have forced this.

    Make no mistake: SPI has a lot of money and resources IN RUSSIA. I don’t know why they would have to go to some “international charity” to find out how to support Russian organizations. That just shows how out of touch they are with LGBT rights IN RUSSIA.

  24. GMB says

    I really agree with the other commentators, and I’ve been saying it from the beginning. Aside from garnering attention in a way that may prove useful, this ultimately makes us look disorganized and silly.

  25. Douglas says

    I agree with 24PLAY and KEVINVT. What Stoli/SPI does in the West for marketing purposes is nearly irrelevant to this discussion. What it does on behalf of LGBT rights in Russia is what matters. The boycott is on. It is real.

  26. Fred says

    It’s grotesque that so many bitchy queens can’t admit that they were wrong about this company and this boycott.

    Get off the internet and get lives. You’re too stupid to even be aware that you’ve embarrassed yourselves.

  27. Marc says

    24PLAY… your comment on the first page is fantastic. While I was feeling a bit moved by this interview your post put a nice rebuttal that is equally valid. Thank you.

Leave A Reply