Ford caves in to Wildmon and AFA
The American Family Association called off its boycott of Ford, but apparently it was because the automaker agreed to cave, pulling its plan to target ads to the gay market in publications for Jaguar and Land Rover. It’s calling it a “business decision.” (Advocate):
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.
When first contacted, Ford spokesman Moran referred Advocate.com to the AFA statement, suggesting that the company had no disagreement with Wildmon’s assertions. In a second conversation he confirmed that the company would no longer advertise Jaguar and Land Rover products in the gay media, saying that the decision was strictly “business.”
Ford said it will still advertise the Volvo brand in gay publications because “the company believes it’s an effective strategy for that market.” Boo, Ford.
Let Ford politely know that its otherwise progressive policies are in the mainstream and that caving to wingnuts like the Wildmons and their knuckle-dragging bible beaters is not a good business decision. Remind them of the company’s own diversity statement:
Diversity embodies all the differences that make us unique individuals. Not limited to physical aspects of race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation, it includes culture, religion, education, experience, opinions, beliefs, language, nationality and more. At Ford Motor Company we recognize that diversity is not only a reality of our global nature, it’s a distinct advantage, and one that we value and embrace.
Ford Motor Company
William Clay Ford, Jr., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
800-232-5952 (TDD for the Hearing Impaired)
Ford Motor Company
Customer Relationship Center
P.O. Box 6248
Dearborn, MI 48126