Anti-LGBT group The American Family Association (AFA) has established an automatic email that individuals can go to the organization’s website to see and send to Amazon and Microsoft, who have recently featured depictions of gay and lesbian couples prominently in their advertising campaigns.
“I support the Biblical definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman,” read the email. “I urge your company to stay out of the homosexual marriage debate and stop promoting a social agenda.”
Amazon released their pro-equality commercial promoting their Kindle Paperwhite in February, with two husbands vacationing in a tropical destination.
Known as an LGBT friendly company, Amazon received a 90 percent on the 2012 Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Corporate Index, while co-Founder Jeff Bezos and his wife donated $2.5 million to the marriage equality battle in Washington.
“The ad has gotten a lot of exposure on Youtube and LGBT sites with a lot of shares,” GLAAD’s VP of Communications Rich Ferraro told 429Magazine when the commercial first appeared. “It’s an overall trend. It’s a smart business move and the right decision with money used positively.”
In Microsoft’s ad, a lesbian wedding with a kiss was included in the promotion of their Outlook.com campaign.
“This ad campaign highlights how Outlook.com provides a modern email experience for modern people. And so our ads depict modern relationships found in today’s society and showcase how Outlook.com helps get you up-to-date,” a Microsoft spokesperson Microsoft told 429Magazine when the ad debuted. “Overall, we’ve seen a very positive reaction to Outlook.com – across the product experience and the marketing.”
The AFA email ended with the message, “Your company should reflect all values by remaining neutral, rather than choosing sides.”
In the past, AFA has attacked NFL Player Tim Tebow for canceling his appearance at an anti-gay church as well as petitions against Sears and JC Penny asking the companies to pull ads featuring prominent members of the LGBT community.
Microsoft and Amazon join a long list of LGBT-friendly companies. In 2007, Ikea and Levi’s debuted their first pro-LGBT ads. Soon after, companies like Kaiser, Google, American Airlines, Diageo/ROKK Vodka, Macy’s, Marriott Hotels, Johnson & Johnson, Discover America, J. Crew, McDonald’s, Urban Outfitters, the Gap, JCPenny, American Apparel, Volkswagen, Covergirl, Absolut, Crate Barrel, and many others have joined the LGBT advertising trend.
“A lot has changed in the past two years. There’s no more boycotts or negative press,” said Ferraro. “Americans expect to see gay and lesbian couples and families in the media today. The advertising industry may not be exposed to LGBT issues as much, like television, but they are catching up.”
Regardless of AFA’s stance, the LGBT community has proved to be a lucrative demographic for advertisers to target.
Volkswagen, CoverGirl and Absolut Vodka have promoted heavily to the LGBT consuming demographic as well.
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