The Game of Thrones SXSW activation literally invited people to bleed for the throne — by donating blood to the Red Cross. Via Endgadget:
Like many activations — the gross industry term for these events where consumers interact with brands — it’s both a way for HBO to promote itself while letting fans step into a world they love. But instead of just being yet another depressing example of media excess, Bleed for the Throne is also something that’ll help save lives. It’s just a shame that it’s limited by archaic FDA restrictions.
Under the agency’s current rules, laid out in 2015, gay or bisexual men who’ve had sex with other men within the past 12 months aren’t allowed to give blood. That’s actually an improvement on the FDA’s prior rules, which banned gay men from donating for life, but it still feels unnecessarily punishing. Once they were made aware of the restrictions, gay men online called out HBO for running what was essentially a discriminatory contest, The Daily Beast reports.
“The ‘Bleed for the Throne’ campaign is and has always been open to everyone,” an HBO spokesperson said when asked for a comment about the FDA’s restrictions. “Knowing that FDA regulations may prohibit blood donation by some, we have created multiple ways for fans to interact with the campaign, including entry to the activation at SXSW and the season 8 premiere sweepstakes … Those unable to donate blood in national blood drives can still enter the sweepstakes by contacting the Red Cross Donor Support Center with a request to be entered, along with their name, mailing address and a valid email. Inclusivity is a key HBO value, and we have long been supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.”