Wednesday, December 07, 2005

As if you needed another reason not to buy a Ford

After a boycott by the American Family Association (yes, based in Tupelo, Mississipp, only 10 miles from my hometown) Ford has agreed to pull almost all its advertising from gay and lesbian-targeted media. Apparently the executives at Ford agree with AFA Head Donald Wildmon and God that gays are an abomination and therefore shouldn't drive Ford branded vehicles. Except Volvo. Volvo (which, if you didn't know, was bought by Ford a few years ago) will continue to target gays and lesbians. I guess it's considered a liberal enough brand that a few gay buyers won't hurt the image.

Has Ford looked at its image lately? Has it looked at its sales numbers lately? Ford is currently planning to shut down as many as 10 plants and get rid of 30,000 workers. If I were in charge of their advertising, I'd be targeting anyone with a driver's license and $150 a month to make a lease payment.

Good luck Ford! I hope there are enough right-wing conservative Christians out there who need new 10 mpg SUVS to keep those remaining factories humming.


David said...

OK, let me begin by saying you don't have to read this post. This is nothing personal, just a contrary opinion, and if you don't want to read contrary opinions, you're welcome not to.

That said, when you frequently use your blog to stereotype and criticize groups that include some of your readers, it's only fair to expect response.

This is the second post in a row where you blast a group for supposedly agreeing with Christians, and the second post in a row where you ignore facts contrary to the contrived opinion you want to present.

First, you accuse Wal-Mart of buckling to Christian pressure not to commercialize Christmas, an argument that can be seen as obviously false the minute you walk into the huge Christmas section of any Wal-Mart.

Now, you come up with Apparently the executives at Ford agree with AFA Head Donald Wildmon and God that gays are an abomination and therefore shouldn't drive Ford branded vehicles.

Sure. You don't like Ford, and you don't like AFA, so paint them both with a broad brush. But the truth is that there are two different huge holes in that statement.

The lesser is that this doesn't actually affect "Ford-branded" vehicles. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury advertising isn't affected at all.

Second, your statement that Ford feels "that gays are an abomination"
sort of runs contrary to the fact that Ford this year extended marriage benefits to same-sex couples and has reportedly donated money to homosexual-friendly causes.

Even the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group, says, "Ford has been a friend to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender consumers and employees in the past." Odd behavior for an organization that considers them an abomination.

But hate is so much easier than research, isn't it? Why should stereotyping, discrimination, intolerance and misrepresentation be left for the right?

From what I'm reading, Ford has been increasingly a supporter of gay rights.
AFA decides to teach them a lesson and calls for a boycott.
As part of marketing changes, Ford pulls specialty advertising from certain niche publications.
Even though this does not change the problems that led to the AFA boycott, AFA decides to call this a victory, so they can look like they're actually relevant.
They start touting how they brought Ford to its knees. (I challenge you to find anything from Ford saying AFA had anything to do with their decision.), and people buy into it, giving Wildmon legitimacy.
Even if it is criticism, it makes it look like Wildmon has more power than he really does.
So, I'm sure that the good Rev. appreciates your support in buying into his PR machine, Chris. Imagine how much money he would have to pay for the sort of attention people are giving him for free...

Wade said...

Didja know you could get AIDS from a steering wheel?

aviyah said...

I think it would be just as much a stretch to conclude that Ford's marketing moves had nothing to do with the AFA boycott as it is for Chris to conclude that they did.

If it had nothing to do with the boycott, then it's just coincidental timing for them to pull the publishing right now and get the AFA to stop complaining (for now)? I don't think it matters that it's not "Ford-brand" vehicles, they are still controlled by Ford and everyone knows it.

Ford may have had legitimate reasons for pulling the advertising; maybe that market wasn't pulling in enough money. Whatever. But it's awfully convenient timing for Ford to pull all it's advertising out of gay publications... right in the in the middle of a boycott based on Ford's equal treatment of gay people. Of course Ford isn't going to admit they were bullied into it! Are they supposed to have a press conference to say, "yes, we kowtowed to the AFA" ?

On the inside, Ford might grant gays equal rights (I hope one day it will be taken for granted that ALL people get equal rights at work and elsewhere), but on the outside, Ford, as many companies, will pander to whomever they think will bring them the most money.

I don't think Chris is attacking Christians or Christianity, but rather, organizations that consider "religious freedom" a mandate to force their own beliefs and practices on everyone else. Funny but I thought religious freedom was the opposite.

Brooks said...

I just have one word .... PINTO