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Gay-unfriendly BMW wants your homo dollars

Here’s a new corporate tactic — place ads for your product in gay publications, but hope you can slip under the gaydar since you don’t provide partner benefits to your employees. Sweet.

That’s just what BMW is doing, according to Gaywheels.com and industry pub Ad Age. Both The Advocate and Out Magazine accepted ads for the Z4 M Roadster.

Joe LaMuraglia, in his Gaywheels.com article, “What is the German Word for Hypocrisy?”, notes that BMW North America does not offer domestic partnership benefits — but the company wants your buxxx.

In the ads, the Z4 makes us yearn for some hard-driving, top-down motoring. But look beyond the gloss and you realize that the ads’ placement in GLBT-media outlets is hypocritical. We are not talking about the fact that the ad—which lacks both GLBT-specific text and photography—does not speak loudly and proudly to its target audience. The issue is that BMW advertises its products in the gay press, yet it is not a gay-friendly company. In other words, the executives at BMW North America do not spend money to offer domestic-partner benefits to their GLBT employees, yet, at the same time, they buy ads to target the deep pockets of GLBT consumers.

This hypocrisy is apparent not only to the editors of Gaywheels.com. 87% of respondents to a recent Gaywheels.com survey felt the same when asked how they would feel if a non-gay-friendly company advertised to them in the GLBT media. Among the many comments we received about this issue, ones like this were representative: “I’ve boycotted companies for this sort of thing”.

Our goal is not to incite a boycott of BMW’s cars, but rather to arm you, our readers, with awareness of the company’s actions as well as of those of the media outlets that published the ad. Speaking of which, one would hope that the publishers of GLBT-owned magazines and web sites would have higher standards than to accept advertising from a major, multinational corporation whose policies discriminate against the very audience that those publications were created to serve. Advertising dollars are scarce these days, but there is plenty of business from other car companies to go after—Gaywheels.com lists no less than 30 brands that qualify as gay-friendly.

He contacted the PR reps at BMW, who confirmed that DP benefits are not offered to U.S. employees — and that BMW is specifically targeting gay customers by purchasing ads in Out and the Advocate.

That’s moxie.

The list of gay-positive companies is quite long. It’s easier just to put up Gaywheel’s list of nine companies that do not have gay-supportive employee policies: Acura, Hyundai, Mini, BMW, Infiniti, Nissan, Honda, Kia, Suzuki.

Hat tip to Trish of The Pensito Review.

Flashback: Subaru drop-kicks Concerned Women for America

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding