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CAN THE PINK POUND ADVANCE EQUALITY IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD?

The pink pound has long been accepted as a major economic force in the West and its ongoing influence can be seen on high streets up and down the UK. From Lloyds Bank featuring a same-sex proposal in its recent marketing campaign to Moss Bros launching window displays to celebrate the legalisation of gay marriage, prominent brands are increasingly looking for a slice of the LGBT+ market.

But the pink pound is also accepted as a major social force, helping to bring about increased visibility of LGBT+ people and with it, greater acceptance from the general public. So how is the influence of the pink pound viewed in the developing world? And could it lead to increased respect for LGBT+ people as it has in the West?

Since the term ‘pink pound’ was coined in the early 1980s, the spending power of the UK’s LGBT+ population has skyrocketed, climbing to $143 billion as of last year. The global purchasing power of the gay community reached $5.4 trillion in 2016, according to asset management firm LGBT Capital, up from only $350 billion in 1998.

This spending explosion happened at the same time as the expansion of gay rights in the Western world, with illicit underground gay clubs transforming into chic cocktail bars. Bob Witeck, president of the LGBT-focused marketing firm Witeck Communications, has see first-hand how billion-pound international businesses became so gay-friendly, through his work with companies such as Walmart, IBM, Jaguar and Disney.

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