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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ford Will Advertize All Brands in Gay Press

The PR Nightmare for Ford that resulted after they appeared to kowtow to the AFA is now over. John Aravosis from Americablog declares victory here.

Wall Street Journal coverage here (available for 1 week).

Ford Restores Ads
In Gay Publications
Following Criticism
By KAREN LUNDEGAARD
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
December 15, 2005; Page D6

Ford Motor Co., which just two weeks ago had appeared to pull its Jaguar and Land Rover advertising from gay and lesbian magazines under pressure from a conservative Christian group, reversed course and said it would place corporate ads in these publications, including the Advocate and Out national magazines.

Ford met with leaders from seven gay and lesbian organizations Monday, and in a follow-up letter sent yesterday explained Jaguar and Land Rover had made independent business decisions about their media plans. "However, it is clear there is a misperception about our intent," wrote Joe W. Laymon, Ford's group vice president of corporate human resources. "As a result, we have decided to run corporate ads in these targeted publications that will include not only Jaguar/Land Rover, but all eight of Ford's vehicle brands."

Two weeks ago, the American Family Association in Mississippi, which earlier this year had been angered by the company's support of gay-rights organizations and its advertising in gay publications, said it was canceling a planned boycott of Ford products. "We feel that our concerns are being addressed in good faith and will continue to be addressed in the future," Donald Wildmon, the group's chairman, said at the time of the boycott cancellation.

At the same time, word spread that Ford had stopped advertising its Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in gay publications.

Gay and lesbian groups last week called on Ford to disavow any agreement with AFA and requested the Monday meeting. Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, one of the oldest and largest gay-rights groups, said the meeting was "straightforward, direct, cordial."

Ford declined to comment beyond Mr. Laymon's letter. An AFA representative wasn't reachable yesterday evening.


AFA is now threatening another boycott. From the AFA Press Release:

For Immediate Release: 12/15/2005
AFA considering boycott of Ford Motor Company

(Tupelo, MS) - The American Family Association says that Ford Motor Company reneged on some agreements reached in discussions with the automobile giant, and the organization is considering its next move.

“We had an agreement with Ford, worked out in good faith. Unfortunately, some Ford Motor Company officials made the decision to violate the good faith agreement. We are now considering our response to the violation and expect to reach a decision very soon,” said Donald E. Wildmon, chairman of AFA.

AFA had called for a boycott of Ford last spring because of Ford’s support for the homosexual agenda and homosexual marriage but suspended the boycott for six months at the request of a group of Ford dealers. Wildmon said AFA and Ford officials hammered out an agreement in the interim that was accepted by both parties.

“All we wanted was for Ford to refrain from choosing sides in the cultural war, and supporting groups which promote same-sex marriage is not remaining neutral,” Wildmon stated.

He stated that because Ford broke the agreement, the option of a boycott is now very much alive.

No additional comments regarding Ford will be made at this time.


Business Week's blog said earlier today that it was expected that the AFA would resume their boycott.

From the blog:

But the AFA created the perception that Ford had given them what they wanted, which angered several Ford executives--notably CEO Bill Ford.

AFA official could not be reached at deadline. It's widely expected that the group will reinstate its boycott of Ford.


Bill Ford was right to be irked about this.

David Kiley at the Business Week blog also comments about the AFA now threatening to boycott again.

AFA had called for a boycott of Ford last spring because of Ford’s support for the homosexual agenda and homosexual marriage but suspended the boycott for six months at the request of a group of Ford dealers. Wildmon said AFA and Ford officials hammered out an agreement in the interim that was accepted by both parties.

“All we wanted was for Ford to refrain from choosing sides in the cultural war, and supporting groups which promote same-sex marriage is not remaining neutral,” Wildmon stated.

He stated that because Ford broke the agreement, the option of a boycott is now very much alive."

If the AFA doesn't boycott after all this, I'd say no advertiser has anything to fear from the group.


There is no reason to fear a boycott from the AFA. Companies should know better than to kowtow to them. I'd assume those southern dealers - especially Jerry Reynolds - aren't going to make the mistake they made before of attempting to broker meetings between the AFA and Ford.

1 comments:

Subcomandante Bob said...

National Nitwit has more on Don Wildmon and his call for adverticus interruptus by Ford.