Ford Motor Company in the US appears to have buckled under pressure from the anti-gay American Family Association and pulled advertising for two of its major brands from gay media. I say appears not because it’s not a fact, but because Ford doesn’t seem to want to just admit it.
From an item in the Advocate:
The antigay American Family Association claimed a cultural victory on Thursday and called off its threatened boycott of Ford Motor Co. On Friday, Ford spokesman Mike Moran confirmed to Advocate.com that the company will stop advertising its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in gay publications but insisted it was strictly a business decision.
The Dearborn, Mich., automaker came under fire from the AFA in May for its longtime efforts to increase LGBT workplace diversity and support gay rights causes. Ford has long been a regular advertiser within gay media, including The Advocate, and has donated significant sums to LGBT causes and nonprofit groups such as the Human Rights Campaign.
Threatened with a boycott by the Mississippi-based AFA, Ford and some of its dealers agreed to negotiate, and the AFA announced in June that it would hold off on its planned action. On Thursday, AFA announced the boycott would be canceled altogether.
“They’ve heard our concerns; they are acting on our concerns. We are pleased with where we are,” said Donald Wildmon, AFA’s chairman, in a statement. “Obviously there are still some small matters of difference, as people will always have, but generally speaking, we are pleased with the results – and therefore the boycott that had been suspended [is] now officially ended.”
Specific terms of any formal agreement between the AFA and Ford – and whether any such agreement has in fact been reached – remain unclear.
A spokesman for Ford is claiming this was a “business decision” and says Volvo advertising will continue. AFA spokespeople say they will be keeping an eye on Ford and reserve the right to reinstate the boycott, if they feel Ford is not living up to its end of the deal.
Sounds like several large steps backwards to me, and more proof that the Christian right wield all the power south of the border.