The Times of India creates LGBTQ ‘Out & Proud’ takeover of its classifieds section

The Times of India (TOI) has launched a campaign to celebrate LGBTQ Indians, offering its classifieds section as a place to share stories of connection and acceptance.

As the year draws closer to the first anniversary since India revoked the 158-year-old colonial law of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized LGBTQ sexual choices, the major news brand is taking a stand with a major campaign.

Sanjeev Bhargava, the director of brand at TOI, said, “At TOI, we believe in celebrating the differences in an inclusive society. The LGBTQ community has always had a place in our hearts, now they also have a special place in our paper. Through this campaign, we aim to provoke the readers to debate archaic notions and adopt a progressive outlook towards modern living.

Acceptance and inclusivity are the two biggest challenges for all those who are born different or choose to be non-conventional. Through the Times Out and Proud campaign, we hope readers would join hands with us to tackle prejudices and extend a warm welcome to the LGBTQ community to live happily and productively alongside the mainstream.”

An online film has been released as part of the call to action to encourage people to use the classified space to connect and accept one another. The ad space is free to people for the first three months of the campaign.

The video tells the stories of four Indians who are LGBTQ, ending the video with a summary of their story as a classified ad.

The campaign was created in partnership with FCB India.

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Fred Levron, worldwide creative partner, FCB Global, said: “Newspapers should play the role of spokesperson for people of all classes, all gender, all sexuality. With “Out and Proud” Times of India becomes a mirror of a changing Indian society. A society where everyone should have a chance to be who they are and love who they want.”

The newspaper is no stranger to picking causes to champion within its marketing, as it looked at migrant workers rights to vote earlier this year.

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