It appears that Ford has taken an about face on advertising with gay press.
After meeting with representatives of the community, Ford has issued a statement correcting the “misperception about [their] intent”. Specifically, they state that although the reason Jaguar and Land Rover dropped ads was because of “business decisions”, Ford will now advertise all eight of their brands in gay specific publications.
It had been reported that Ford would no longer use imagery that reflects our community it their advertising. Ford disavows that report and requests that we judge their commitment by the content of their advertising.
They stated that (contrary to reports from insiders) they would not be stopping sponsorship of gay events.
In a reference to the meeting with the AFA, Ford stated “We meet every day with people and organizations on many issues, and…expect to be measured not by the meetings we conduct but by our conduct itself”.
This is a very welcome response. I, for one, will be watching Ford’s commitment to including gay people in their marketing strategy and judging them on their conduct. I hope they live up to the positions outlined in their statement once the fury has blown over.
I will also be watching to see how AFA responds. This might tell us more than Ford’s press release.