Controversy over Condom Billboard in Gay Village

Publish Date: 16/08/2012


The collective voice of Manchester’s LGB&T community has contributed to the removal of a controversial condom advertisement which appeared on a billboard in Manchester’s gay Village this week and was scheduled to remain over the Manchester Pride festival.

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, Manchester City Council, Manchester Pride, Bollox Club, and the Village Business Association were all supported by a huge groundswell of public outrage drawing attention to the insensitive and upsetting advertisement for a new brand of condoms which carried the slogan, ‘Love Sex, Hate Condoms’.

Community members took to Facebook almost immediately to voice their concern, posting comments on the LGF, Bollox, and Canal Street Facebook pages.

Grahame Robertson, editor of the LGF’s community magazine outnorthwest originally posted, “Stupidly irresponsible, massive billboard in the middle of Canal Street. Condoms that feel like skin? Great. No problem with that. But the 'Love Sex Hate Condoms' message - in 6 foot high letters - is irresponsible and disrespectful to a community that has been at the forefront of promoting condom use for over 25 years.”

The LGF contacted the manufacturer of the condoms yesterday afternoon to share the strong feelings of the LGB&T community in Manchester. The company agreed to immediately remove the advertisement.

Manchester City Centre Councilor Kevin Peel agreed that the advert was ‘completely unacceptable’ and worked with colleagues in the council to have the offending advert removed

Manchester Pride said that they were ‘shocked’ by the message in the advert while the Village Business Association also thought the advert was ‘not right for the area’ and contained ‘a very misleading message’.

Andrew Gilliver, Campaigns & Engagement Manager at The LGF said today, “The resolve and passion of our community over this issue has been inspiring. This community is rightly proud of the contributions they have made to the safer sex and condom-use message over the last three decades. To see everyone mobilized and determined not to see all that work undone by this irresponsible advertisement only contributed to this positive outcome.”

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation would like to thank everyone involved for their support in this matter.



The appearance of this billboard on Canal Street this week prompted a flood of online debate from our local community. It's obvious that there are some strong opinions out there about sexual health messages, and their effectiveness. Next week The LGF is hosting a debate around reducing HIV infections and how effective sexual health campaigns are. We'd love you to come along to this FREE event and put your questions to our panel of guests.

We Need To Talk

22nd August 2012, 7pm-9pm

at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, Number 5, Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF

This is a free event, but places are limited, so if you'd like to come along email to reserve your place.