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EMAC 2020 Regional Conference

Using controversial values in CSR communication – analysing the Coca-Cola #loveislove campaign

Published: September 16, 2020


Lilla Lipták, University of Szeged Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; Szabolcs Prónay, University of Szeged Faculty of Economics and Business Administration


CSR communication; Coca-Cola; #loveislove


Nowadays we can witness a radical change in CSR communication: Brands are much more willing to take on controversial roles besides traditional, positive social values (like environmental protection, fight against poverty, etc.). Our study analysis this new CSR communication phenomenon through the assessment of Coca-Cola’s #loveislove campaign that took a stand for homosexual relationship. The campaign took place in Hungary in August 2019. Netnographic research was conducted among the Hungarian followers of the Coca-Cola’s official Facebook page. Posts, reactions and comments were analysed. Studying the comments, we observed a rather negative response, however, the simple emoji reactions were dominantly positive, and the positive comments also received more likes than the negative ones. We can assume that controversial CSR results in really high publicity and also motivates large number of supporters, however, it can backfire to the brand image also.