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Ford targeted by anti-gay group

In a public relations about-face, the Ford Motor Company has reaffirmed its commitment to queer consumers after initially agreeing to capitulate to the demands of an American anti-gay group.

The American Family Association (AFA) announced Dec 1 that, under threat of boycott, Ford had promised to pull its advertising from queer media.

The next day, a spokesperson for Ford acknowledged the carmaker would pull its prestigious Jaguar and Land Rover brand ads from queer publications.

The move sparked a wave of protest from American queer activists who met with Ford executives Dec 12, prompting Ford to cancel the cancellation of its queer-targeted ads.

“You asked us specifically to reaffirm our principles of nondiscrimination and inclusiveness,” wrote Ford vice-president Joe Laymon in a Dec 14 open letter to American queer activist groups. “We agreed without any reservations and issued a statement immediately after the meeting in which Bill Ford did so personally.”

The AFA announced Dec 15 it was reconsidering the boycott, saying Ford reneged on its deal.

“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 AFA chairman Donald E Wildmon in a news release.

“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 said.