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May 2008
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Ford U-turn over gay media ads

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]nebris)

Jamie Wilson in Washington
Friday December 16, 2005
From The Guardian

Ford is to resume buying corporate ads in gay publications, following criticism from gay rights groups who accused the motor company of succumbing to pressure from the conservative group the American Family Association.

In an attempt to end a public relations disaster, Ford wrote to gay groups saying it would resume buying corporate ads in gay media, featuring all eight of the company's brands, reversing a decision to pull them. Previously only Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo ran ads in gay publications.

"Ford's action is a positive outcome and win for equality and fairness," said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. "Ford has sent a powerful signal that corporate America values its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers."

The AFA called for a boycott of Ford vehicles in May, citing what it claimed was the company's "extensive promotion of homosexuality" including making contributions to gay rights groups.

The AFA suspended the boycott in June for six months after talks with Ford dealers and then ended it altogether after a meeting with Ford executives. Afterwards Ford announced it was going to pull the ads from gay publications and the AFA claimed victory. "While we still have a few differences with Ford, we feel our concerns are being addressed in good faith and will continue to be addressed in the future," Donald Wildmon, the chairman of the Mississippi-based group, said.

Ford denied it had struck a secret deal with the AFA, claiming the decision to pull the ads was a purely commercial decision. But gay rights groups reacted furiously, accusing Ford of pandering to extremist groups. The decision to reinstate the advertising followed a meeting with gay groups on Monday.

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