Newspaper advertisements depicting a gay couple have appeared in the press this week as part of LloydsTSB’s new, all-encompassing marketing campaign.

The cartoon-style ad shows the two men standing alongside tins of paint and rolls of wallpaper and the caption: ‘We can help you save to turn your house into your dream home’.

The ads seen in papers such as The Independent mark the start of LloydsTSB focusing on their LGBT customer base. This week also saw the start of a new internal campaign launched at the group’s own employees.

The Rainbow Network, formed earlier this year, aims to give LGBT staff a chance to connect with each other and share experiences and development opportunities. It was given an official launch yesterday by international rugby player Gareth Thomas, who spoke to staff about the challenges he faced in “coming out” last year.

“It’s so important for LGBT people to know that they have the support and understanding of their colleagues,” said Thomas. “I think Rainbow will be a really valuable network for the staff at Lloyds.”

The network is being sponsored at senior level by Helen Weir, the bank’s executive director for retail, and other senior leaders attended the launch to show their support for the bank’s diversity strategy.

“Lloyds Banking Group will support Rainbow vocally and practically as part of our ongoing commitment to make this an even better place for all our colleagues to work,” said Fiona Cannon, Lloyds’ diversity and inclusion director.

“The Rainbow Network is the tangible outcome of a process that has been underway for some time. It really demonstrates our commitment to create a more inclusive working environment for everyone. We aim to celebrate our diversity and make sure that everyone feels included – Rainbow will help us to achieve that.”

Lloyds Banking Group is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme and was named as the best place to work in 2009 for lesbian and gay people.

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