Texas dealers urge Ford to end homosexual advertising
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A letter representing 78 Texas Ford dealers was sent to Ford's Detroit headquarters earlier this summer, urging the company to "cease" advertising in homosexual publications. The letter acknowledged that a pro-family boycott is hurting their business.
Sent to Ford Motor Company CEO William Clay Ford and dated June 23, the letter was posted on the American Family Association's website Aug. 9. AFA and other pro-family groups announced a boycott of Ford in March to protest the company's advertising in homosexual magazines such as The Advocate and Out as well as Ford’s support of homosexual activist causes.
"To be clear we strongly urge that Ford not only cease to advertise in homosexual related media and events, but in all politically charged and controversial media and events. We believe that Ford can and should market to all Americans with transportation needs, but that it should do so without tacitly approving a controversial lifestyle or stance," the letter stated.
By advertising in such publications, the letter said, Ford was "alienating our mutual customers."
The letter was sent by the Greater Texas Ford Dealers Advertising Fund, which the letter said represents 78 Ford dealers in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. The advertising fund's governing board "unanimously endorsed" the letter, which was signed by Doss Rogers, chairman of the Greater Texas Ford Dealers Advertising Fund, and included the names of the other board members. A spokesperson for the advertising fund confirmed to Baptist Press that the letter had been sent to Ford.
The letter pointed to a Ford advertisement in an edition of the Advocate that was placed "on the facing page to an article on gay polygamy." That edition, with a cover story titled "Big Gay Love," was released earlier this summer. The first two paragraphs of the story describe a foursome relationship involving three men and a woman who is married to one of the men.
"When the blue oval is placed next to offensive photos of the gay lifestyle, as it was in the ad mentioned above, customers then believe that Ford endorses that lifestyle," the letter stated.
The letter further said: "As one dealer at a recent meeting put it, 'The folks supporting this boycott are not on the fringe, they are not religious fanatics or persons that typically protest, but are average citizens concerned for the well-being of their families and about an all-American company like Ford advocating a lifestyle that they find objectionable.'”
Customers, the letter said, "are besieging us in person, by phone, mail and email."
"Individually we respond as best we can, using the information provided by the company," the letter said. "Although in some cases we are somewhat successful in this effort, in the majority of cases we are not."
The boycott, the letter said, is "affecting our business."
"As many of us try to convey to our customers, we as dealers have no control over where Ford Motor Company advertises, we do however suffer the brunt of consumer outrage and boycotts such as this one," it stated.
According to a January business article in the Detroit Free Press, Ford "donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to homosexual groups, sponsors gay pride parades and holds mandatory diversity training for managers."
In an Aug. 9 e-mail to subscribers, American Family Association chairman Donald Wildmon said Ford had advertisements in the latest editions of the Advocate and Out. Wildmon also said Ford was a contributor to PFLAG -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Wildmon said Ford refused to contribute to PFOX -- Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (an organization for those who have left homosexuality).
Ford sales, Wildmon said, dropped 5 percent in March, 7 percent in April, 2 percent in May, 6.8 percent in June and 4.1 percent in July.
"Ford sales have consistently dropped since AFA began the boycott," Wildmon said.
For information about the national debate over "gay marriage," visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage