In a contentious move aligning with Pride 2024 celebrations, Bonds, the iconic Australian underwear brand, recently featured two non-binary models with 'they/them' pronouns in its advertising campaign.
The spotlight fell particularly on 'Mikey,' a towering figure with a beard and noticeable bulge under the bikini bottoms, sparking controversy among some consumers who have vowed to boycott the brand.
Social media platforms were flooded with criticism, with one Twitter user denouncing Bonds as "just another company to never buy from again." Another echoed the sentiment, exclaiming, "Go woke go broke come on people!" The backlash extended to the product listing, inundated with one-star reviews expressing discomfort and disappointment.
The controversy bears similarities to recent incidents involving other brands like Rip Curl and Bud Light, which faced backlash over similar marketing strategies. Notably, Rip Curl issued an apology after featuring a transgender woman in its campaign, a move that failed spectacularly, with one customer publicly burning his Rip Curl board shorts in protest.
Amid the uproar, Bonds reiterated its commitment to 'inclusivity,' stating that inappropriate or offensive comments on its social media platforms would not be tolerated.
However, the brand refrained from commenting on allegations involving controversial transgender activist Deni Todorovic, who was previously associated with Bonds and Seafolly.