Listerine mocked for ‘gay pride’ rainbow bottles

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Listerine are being slated for its gay pride mouthwash bottles. [Photo: Listerine/Getty]

Dental care brand Listerine has been criticised for releasing a “gay pride” themed mouthwash bottle design.

The rainbow flag design the bottle is wrapped is a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride movement.

Listerine ostensibly aims to jump on the bandwagon with its special-edition rainbow-striped bottles, currently being sold in pharmacies across America. They don’t appear to be sold in the UK, currently.

The bottles are part of a wider “Care With Pride” range created by Listerine’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson.

Hair and body range OGX also displays the same design.

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The Listerine bottle design bears the words: “Sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic, peace, harmony, spirit.” These are words that Gilbert Baker, gay activist and creator of the Rainbow Flag, assigned to its colours in 1978.

American blogger and writer Daryush Valizadeh called out Listerine’s Gay Pride themed bottles on Twitter earlier this week.

Others, including members of the LGBT community, chimed in to mock the brand.

They seem equally baffled about the link between mouthwash and sexuality.

Meanwhile, some other users are making risqué jokes linking mouthwash and oral sex.

The so-called “Gay Pride” mouthwash follows the online anger after Marks & Spencer released a LGBTQ+ (short for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and polyamorous) sandwich.

The bacon, lettuce and tomato meal, complete with added guacamole, was called out by shopping Aaron Wright, who tweeted a picture of the sandwich, which comes in rainbow packaging, with a caption saying "f*** off".

In fact past, certain brands have faced similar outrage for selling unnecessarily gendered products.

For instance, Waitrose came under fire for selling “sexist” children’s cakes, while a greeting card manufacturer was called out for gendered cards about making sandwiches for boys.