Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Under Pressure, Ford Will Cut Its Ads in Gay Publications
By JEREMY W. PETERS
Published: December 6, 2005
DETROIT, Dec. 5 - After a threatened boycott from a conservative religious organization, the Ford Motor Company has said it will cut back on advertising in gay-oriented publications.
The group, the American Family Association, called for the boycott in May because of what it said was the company's "track record for supporting the homosexual agenda."
After a meeting last week between Ford executives and members of the group, the company said that its Jaguar and Land Rover brands would no longer be advertised in gay publications. It said it had no plans to change the advertising strategy for Volvo, another Ford unit.
A spokesman played down the role the boycott had in the company's decision, saying that the ads were eliminated as a cost-cutting measure. "As they begin planning their marketing for next year," the spokesman, Mike Moran, said Monday, "they've streamlined their budgets."
Mr. Moran said he could not provide specifics on Ford's past advertising in gay-oriented publications.
The American Family Association's chairman, Donald E. Wildmon, in a statement, expressed satisfaction. "They've heard our concerns," he said. "They are acting on our concerns."
Ford's decision to cut back the ads has troubled gay rights activists, who pointed out that among the company's personnel practices, it provides the same benefits for homosexual couples as it does for heterosexuals.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay advocacy group, said, "I can only hope that this is a case of a large corporation, and the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, and this will in very short order be cleared up."