Google takes stand on Russia’s anti-gay laws with doodle

Google appears to have taken a stand on Russia’s anti-gay laws today (7 February) to coincide with the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics with a doodle borrowing a line from the Olympic Charter about diversity.

Google Doodle Sochi
Google has waded into the debate over Russia’s anti-gay laws with the doodle on its homepage today (7 February).

Google’s “doodle”, which appears on its home page, features the company’s logo backed by the colours of the rainbow, internationally recognised as the colours of the gay pride flag. When the logo is clicked it directs users to search results for “Olympic Charter”.

It also features a line from the Charter that reads: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirt, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

Google has also presented the doodle on its homepage in Russia.

Campaigners across the world have held protests over the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to hold the Games in Russia, which earlier this year introduced a law which prohibits the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships to minors.

Sponsors including Coca-Cola and Visa have come under pressure from campaign groups to speak out over the controversial laws. 

The sponsors have been reluctant to respond to the challenges, deferring to the IOC to take the lead. They have also adopted low-key, local marketing approaches to mitigate any negative affect from the fallout. 

Of all the partners to the Games, only US Olympic Committeee sponsor AT&T has condemned Russia’s anti-gay rights laws.

In a blog post the telecommunications giant said the law is harmful to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and is harmful to a diverse society. 

The blog post, entitled “A Time for Pride and Equality”, continues: “We support LGBT equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination  and harassment targeted against LGBT individuals everywhere.”

Yesterday (6 February) Channel 4 launched a mini campaign, which centres around an advert featuring a Russian man in red underpants wishing athletes success by singing “Gay mountain, gay mountain. Be proud on gay mountain”. The broadcaster’s idents will also be rainbow branded throughout today (7 February). 

For more Sochi 2014 coverage click here

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here