Pandora, a popular online radio service , sent out an email advertisement for Valentine’s Day that was geared towards those in heterosexual relationships. Since users are required to specify their gender when they register for Pandora, it has a database of all its users’ gender. It does not, however, have any information on users’ sexual orientation. But that didn’t stop them from making assumptions.
Pandora sent out an email intended for its female users. The subject, “A Musical Gift He’ll Adore - Pandora One,” assumes that all its female users are straight. This advertising is rooted in heteronormativity and ostracizes LGBT users. The subject line’s language could have easily been adjusted so it was gender-neutral and applied to everyone.
Pandora accidentally sent some of their emails to the “wrong” gender. In an email entitled “We made a mistake in our Valentine’s Day email,” an email from Pandora explained, "We were experimenting with some gender-speicific messages for Valentine's day and we ended up messing up a small number of emails, including one to this address. We meant to send an email to men with a "Give a gift to her" message, and vice versa."
With this follow-up email, Pandora confirmed an ignorant and thoughtless attitude towards LGBT people. Pandora shouldn’t make assumptions about people based on the gender they select at registration.
Please ask Pandora to adjust their communications to be gender-neutral and LGBT-inclusive.
Photo credit: Pandora