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Target Pulling Pride Range Items 'Looks Like a Retreat'—Brand Strategist

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backlash and calls for a boycott of the chain store "looks like a retreat," a leading brand strategist has said.The retailer will be removing items "at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior" from customers, Kayla Castaneda, a Target spokesperson, said on Tuesday.Kelly O'Keefe, founding partner of Brand Federation, who has advised companies including Capital One, Walmart and UPS, told Newsweek that while Target was wise to take threats against staff seriously and was not retreating from its values, it was "a time for Target to stand up" and publicly affirm its support for the LGBTQ+ community—or risk losing them as customers as well.Several brands have been the target of condemnation from conservatives over marketing advocating for the LGBTQ+ community.

While experts have said such campaigns provide an opportunity for brands to appeal to consumers in new markets, critics have accused companies of alienating their traditional customer base.The controversies sit at the heart of the culture wars, and speak to a broader debate around the acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals in public life.Castaneda previously told Newsweek the decision to remove certain items from the range was due to "threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and wellbeing while at work.""Obviously any incident that would put employees at risk is something that any company would wisely take seriously," O'Keefe commented.

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