Westboro Baptist Church picked a fight with Absolut Vodka, and lost

When Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) used National Vodka Day in the US to bash liquor brand Absolut and its support of LGBT+ rights, the Swedish company knew exactly how to react.

Unbeknownst to the hate group, the vodka brand had long been thinking about how to translate their message of inclusion and acceptance into a concrete form.

“Absolut and other brands have often talked a lot about these issues—we wanted to turn it into our product,” Craig Johnson, Global VP of Marketing at Absolut, tells PinkNews. Johnson defines Absolut’s core belief as “love [being] the most powerful force in the world.”

The product of that work was unveiled on October 5, in response to a tweet by WBC which featured the image of the Absolut’s rainbow bottle—a special Pride edition—next to the group’s trademark hateful statements “God hates Pride” and “God hates drunks.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups in the US, designates the WBC as “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group.”

The group became notorious worldwide for its homophobic message “God hates fags” after its members protested the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was beaten, tortured and left to die by two assailants in 1998.

A member of the Westboro Baptist Church protests gay rights and the NBA as police officers look on May 1, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Christian Petersen/Getty)

Absolut answered the WBC tweet with a video showcasing their latest campaign and product—a bottle featuring “love” in 16 languages printed across it in ink derived from hate groups’ protest signs gathered from across the world.

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