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BACK DOOR BOY IN A FRONT DOOR WORLD
OUTSIDE OF SOCIETY - THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO BE
See what happens when you anger the biscuit? 
4th-Dec-2005 12:22 pm
Ford Motor Company embraces homophobia in order to appease religious right



Some initial contact info for Ford's public relation's people. Let's fill their voice mail boxes over the week. Ask them if they'd pull all their advertising in black media or Jewish media if the Klan gave them a call:

Contact: Rosemary Mariniello, Jaguar Land Rover North America, (201) 818-8010
Contact: Jim Cain, Ford Division, (313) 248-6288
Contact: Sara Tatchio, Lincoln and Mercury, (313) 594-3744
Contact: Roger Ormisher, Volvo Cars of North America, Inc., (800) 970-0888
Contact: George Pipas, Ford Motor Company, (313) 323-9216
Contact: Dan Bedore, Ford Division, (313) 323-7045

Well, we just got our new campaign. Ford needs to be taught a lesson. If they think they're above the fray and too big to be influenced by the mean homosexuals, they ought to give Bill Gates a call and see what happened to Microsoft when they endorsed outright bigotry in order to appease America's Taliban.

In a nutshell, the rabid homophobes at the American Family Association threatened Ford with a boycott earlier this year because they were advertising in the gay press. Suddenly in June the AFA called off their threatened boycott because local Ford dealers had contacted the national Ford office and, apparently, suggested Ford might be amenable to working out a deal. Now we find out that Ford is pulling its gay ads and that Ford even tells the Advocate that the AFA's press release claiming credit for this entire thing is accurate.

Ford wants to dance with bigots, that's fine. But you don't get to do that in the year 2005 and remain a prosperous company in America.

I want phone numbers and email contacts for all of Ford's top executives and public relations people. Go to it folks.

More from 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.

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."
More info, here is Ford's Board of Directors. Anyone got contact info:

Sir John R. H. Bond
Ellen R. Marram
Stephen G. Butler
Homer A. Neal
Kimberly A. Casiano
Jorma Ollila
Edsel B. Ford II
James J. Padilla
William Clay Ford, Jr.
Carl E. Reichardt
Irvine O. Hockaday, Jr.
Robert E. Rubin
Marie-Josée Kravis
John L. Thornton
Richard A. Manoogian

You can also find Ford's senior executives here.

What would be most useful is if someone inside Ford can send us a copy of the entire company phone directory. The folks at Paramount did it during our StopDrLaura.com campaign, it was quite helpful.


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Ford Motor Company embraces homophobia
in order to appease religious right



At Ford, inequality is job one. Click here to learn more.
Comments 
4th-Dec-2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
*shakes head* This country scares me more and more every day.

I see stuff like this and feel the huge impact it has on turning this country in the wrong direction. That's a place I just can't live in.

Thanks for the code I will be sure to pass this on.

4th-Dec-2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
Going backwards with steps so tiny America doesn't even realize it's happening.
4th-Dec-2005 06:05 pm (UTC)
yes, that is totally what I am saying.
4th-Dec-2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
"SIR" John R.H. Bond?? What the FUCK is an Englishman doing on the board of directors of FORD MOTOR COMPANY???
4th-Dec-2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
Ford Motor Company makes and sells vehicles all over the world.
5th-Dec-2005 12:20 am (UTC)
I don't want to shake your world too much, but I see at least one confirmed Finn and one very Dutch name on that board too.
(Deleted comment)
4th-Dec-2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
I find inflammatory conclusions like "Ford embraces homophobia" to be (in cases like this one, at least) overreactions.

I would agree that they were embracing homophobia if, say, they advertised in publications actively supporting homophobia, or if they refused to sell to gays, or if they refused to hire gays.

If we boycott Ford merely for not advertising in the Advocate, we become no better than the AFA who boycotts Ford merely for advertising there.
4th-Dec-2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thinking Like this may have been the cause of the older generations closeted lifestyle.......HOMOPHOBIA fear of GAYS Not ADVERTISING in our publications for FEAR of loosing the sponsorship of the AFA KNOWN HOMOPHOBES.....To placate a group KNOWN for it's HOMOPHOBIA is to SUPPORT their message. Hardly an OVER REACTION
4th-Dec-2005 06:35 pm (UTC)
Thank You SIR!
(Deleted comment)
5th-Dec-2005 01:51 am (UTC)
Love your icon! :)
5th-Dec-2005 12:19 am (UTC)
someone should forward this information to a sympathetic public prosecutor in sweden. i'm sure the afa's action constitutes hate speech in the swedish context (and, in a broader milieu, in that of the european union). perhaps ford can be embarrassed in volvo's homeland.
5th-Dec-2005 01:54 am (UTC)
I must confess, that I too think "embracing homophobia" is somewhat of an exaggeration. That said, it's still placating stupid right-wing bigots, which is something one should never do. Whether it is or isn't a sound business move is immaterial - it still betrays a moral weakness, which is surely the point of this argument.
5th-Dec-2005 02:37 am (UTC)
This is a tough one, after reading everyone else's comments. On the one hand, Ford management looks like they're trying to be practical, placating the biggest base of spending customers. If you own a business, you live in fear of losing a lot of customers or money.

On the other hand, one has to consider the hateful reason Ford has to pull its advertising in the first place. Not all straight people hate gays or think something like advertising a car belongs in a "straight" or "gay" category (we all burn gasoline at roughly the same rate, right? Well, except me because I don't have an SUV). Principles do matter in business once in a while, as does doing what's right (in the sense of your mom having taught you what's "right" when you were five years old).
5th-Dec-2005 05:12 am (UTC) - Surfed in from <lj user=pagerbear>
I'm not sure we can establish whether AFA members and supporters, or queers and their supporters are a bigger demographic in general, or specifically a bigger market for Ford. It may also be that the AFA formed an active, immediate threat with the ability to carry out an boycott action against Ford, and gays/queers and their allies form a passive, amorphous and poorly-organized group who couldn't apply much pressure to Ford at all. Of course, if we don't publicize Ford's decision, then no action can be taken at all.

Whether Ford deserves the label "homophobic" is probably more complex than this one decision. I'd be comfortable with "caves to homophobic organization". I say that because I doubt that Ford would pull advertising from Ebony/Jet, Banzai or even the imaginary "US Arab News" because of pressure applied by a racist or anti-ethnic organization. I hope, because it would just be "wrong", but even if the ethical argument was insufficient to sway Ford, the backlash from targeted people and others in the general public would be too great to ignore. I agree that we need to inform the public about Ford's decision. I'm not sure if labeling them "homophobic" is going to be the most effective method of doing so.
5th-Dec-2005 07:37 am (UTC) - So let me see if I've got this right:
* Ford claims that, for business reasons, it pulled ads for 2 of 3 marques advertised in the Advocate.

* The AFA claims that Ford pulled them because they had threatened Ford with a boycott.

My question to you (other than how many new Jags and Rovers do you think are annually sold in Mississippi) is:

Why does the Advocate (and most of the people in this conversation) pay more creedence to what an anti-gay organization says over a company that has supported the gay community through company policies, donations, and continued business partnerships? Since when does an organization that hates gays garner more respect than an organization that helps gays? Why are people so eager to lend legitimacy to what the AFA tells them?

As far as I'm concerned, if Ford says it was a business decision unrelated to AFA, then it was a business decision unrelated to AFA. The Advocate is not a charity, and Ford should not be under pressure to pruchase advertising space out of fear for being labeled as bigots.

Personally, I think the Advocate is miffed at the reduced advertising revenue and is using well-meaning people like you as pawns to leverage more advertising dollars from Ford. And that, my friends, is not just bad for business... it's bad for gays and those who support them.

(Deleted comment)
5th-Dec-2005 02:02 pm (UTC)
ah yes...lovely ford (backwards...drof...driver returns on foot)...anyway, i don't have the article anymore...and maybe i should look for it again, but with all the 'religious' crap and stuff...they also do not support 'alternative' beliefs, i.e. witchcrafte. *HUGS*

love, vesta
5th-Dec-2005 04:43 pm (UTC)
My favorite was always "Found On Road Dead" ...
6th-Dec-2005 12:34 am (UTC) - Re: So let me see if I've got this right:
"Ford stated" nothing of the sort. According to the Advocate, "When first contacted, Ford spokesman Moran referred Advocate.com to the AFA statement, suggesting [emp added] that the company had no disagreement with Wildmon's assertions."

We do not know the question asked of Moran about the AFA, nor do we know exactly how Moran responded it, other than (in the opinion of the Advocate) Moran's response suggests he did not contest the content of the AFA's website.

For all we know, the Advocate may have asked "What can you tell about the AFA and their threat to boycott Ford?" to which Moran might have responded, "Not much, have you checked their website?"

The lack of a direct quote or report of anything other than an interpretation of their conversation with Moran is troubling. You're labeling one of the nation's largest administrators of same-sex benefits of "embracing homophobia", and you don't even have a freaking quote to explain how you arrived at that conclusion.

The article even admits, "Specific terms of any formal agreement between the AFA and Ford?and whether any such agreement has in fact been reached?remain unclear."

In, other words, they are unable to verify if Ford and the AFA have even reached an agreement, much less one that specifically involves pulling Rover and Jag ads.

The article goes on to say, "In all cases, we review this issue from a business perspective in regards to advertising," Moran said. "Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury [brands] did not advertise in gay publications anyway. At this time, Jaguar and Land Rover will not do so going forward.? He added that Volvo will still advertise in gay publications because the company believes it's an effective strategy for that market.

It seems to me Moran has made it clear the decision was made because advertising Jaguar and Rover in the gay media was not seen as an effective expenditure of advertising dollars. And it's clear that Ford still sees the gay media as an effective vehicle for marketing their Volvo brand.

I'm nowhere close to "Ford-happy"; I simply regard them as the American auto company that is not as fucked up as GM.

But I do take seriously the issue of crying wolf when it comes to discrimination, bigotry, and other injustices, as it takes the credilibility away from those who need a voice when such injustices actually occur.
6th-Dec-2005 01:22 am (UTC) - Re: So let me see if I've got this right:
A good point, well made. And I agree with you that branding Ford homophobic because of this is unfair. As, i think would a lot of people in this debate. That said, there is still the issue of whether or not they caved in to the AFA. We can never know for sure (as you've proved) but I wonder - what possible reason could they have for removing these advertisments if not for the AFA?

I'm not trying to deny your argument - I'm genuinely curious to hear some alternative reasons before I decide.
6th-Dec-2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
they ought to give Bill Gates a call and see what happened to Microsoft when they endorsed outright bigotry in order to appease America's Taliban.

I think this might be the only hilarious part of this whole story. Like any boycott against Microsoft ever did shit. You mean their OS is not still on some 90% of computers? They're not still selling their overpriced suite of office applications by the truckload? They're not still making billions of dollars? I must have missed something here. Shit, I'll bet most of the people here typed their posts on a computer running Windows XP, and the Mac users have a copy of Office on their machines, too.

Now, if you all want to boycott Ford over this, feel free. I'm not arguing that cowing to the AFA was the right thing to do, because it wasn't. But if you're going to cite past successes in your call to "rally the troops", you may want to make sure they've been successful.
9th-Dec-2005 09:03 pm (UTC) - you are all insane
it's people like you that make the majority of this country afraid of the left. Ford is a PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANY. The only people they should have to answer to are their stockholders, not some group of rabid liberals, and certainly not the gay community. If Ford chooses to pull their ads from gay publications, fine. It is, as you quoted, a business decision. Maybe they realized that gays aren't really the ones buying their staple products anyway. Maybe they did it to appease the right. It's really none of your business, and suggesting that people harass executives who are only doing their jobs to the best of their abilities is sick and twisted.
-a concerned conservative
15th-Dec-2005 06:13 pm (UTC)
Go check the news today: Ford will again advertise in gay publications

Great news!!
15th-Dec-2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
See here.
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