ANZ reveals confronting campaign calling for more #LoveSpeech in support of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

For this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras sponsorship, ANZ has released a confronting campaign shining a light on the hate speech endured by members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The launch film, directed by The Glue Society, features a collection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer individuals sharing the homophobic slurs they have been called throughout their lives and how it has affected them. The ad reveals the statistic that homophobic slurs are posted online more than 43 times a minute. At the end it calls for Australians to share more ‘#LoveSpeech’.

According to You Gov’s January 2020 Galaxy Research, 74% of the LGBTIQ+ community believe that homophobic comments directed at them is a major issue. Only 34% of the community feel confident calling it out.

The research also found that 52% of non-LGBTIQ+ Australians believe that the LGBTIQ+ community get offended too easily.

The campaign, created by TBWA Melbourne, aims to empower the LGBTIQ+ community and its allies to challenge homophobic language and share Love Speech instead.

The out-of-home element of the campaign sees the homophobic slurs ‘Boy should never wear dresses’ disarmed by graffiti artist David Lee Pereira adding phrase ‘Without a killer pair of heels’.

The billboards are positioned in prominent locations along the Sydney Mardi Gras route. Digital executions use a similar aesthetic with slurs transformed into Love Speech.

The digital #LoveSpeech executions

ANZ has also developed a Google Chrome extension, titled ‘Hurt Blocker’, that transforms hate speech into emojis in users’ windows. A guide to Love Speech has also been created to help people understand how the language they are using can hurt others, even when it is unintentional.

Benjamin Law, Moana Hope and Georgie Stone will be taking part in the campaign through a public relations strategy, executed by Thrive.

Sweta Mehra, ANZ chief marketing officer, said she was proud of the brand’s partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

“We are incredibly proud of the work we have done over the years to demonstrate support for our LGBTIQ+ staff, customers and community. This year’s campaign is no different. With unkind, cruel and damaging comments directed at the community every single day, we think it’s time for more #LoveSpeech,” Mehra said.

A statement from TBWA Melbourne said: “As a long-time sponsor of Mardi Gras, ANZ has a remarkable history of support for LGBTIQ+ inclusion. In a world where intentional hatred and casual homophobia can be shouted from the rooftops without any real consequence, #LoveSpeech draws a line in the sand for a more civilised, more respectful and less combative conversation.”

Thrive PR added: “As highlighted by the research, hurtful language is not only an issue that deeply affects the LGBTIQ+ community, but one that affects us as a nation. What is most startling is the discrepancy between what is perception and what is sadly, reality. We encourage everyone to get behind ANZ’s Love Speech campaign. Let’s spread a little more #LoveSpeech far and wide.”

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs from 14 February until 1 March. The parade will take place on 29 February.


ANZ Bank Australia
TBWA Melbourne
Thrive PR
Revolver/Will O’Rourke and The Glue Society
PHD Media


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.