Apple is among the top six gay-friendly brands in the US, recent research reveals.

The company shares the status with Bravo, Showtime, HBO, Absolut and Levi’s. Apple is seen as gay-friendly by 39 per cent of the gay and lesbian population in the US, just behind Bravo’s 52 per cent share.

But WalMart, Dunkin Donuts, Cracker Barrel, Exxon Mobil and Samsung score the lowest marks in survey results taken among gay and lesbian consumers, claims the 2008 Prime Access/PlanetOut Gay and Lesbian Consumer Study released.

The survey is one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of gay and lesbian consumer
habits and brand perceptions. A total of 2,259 adults aged 18-64 took part.

According to the study, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of gay and lesbian consumers said they are more likely to buy from a company they considered to be gay-friendly, a perception they base largely on a company's advertising, followed by input from friends and the media.

The study also reveals that 71 per cent of gay and lesbian consumers said they have a more favourable impression of companies or products that feature gay imagery in their advertising.