Main | Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ford Statement Refutes AFA's Claims

Yesterday the American Family Association issued a press release claiming that the Ford Motor Company had surrendered to their ongoing boycott and would cease marketing to gays and end charitable contributions to LGBT organizations.

This morning I made a few phone calls, initially speaking to Suzanne Wait, head of Ford GLOBE, the company's LGBT employee group. Wait declined to comment on the AFA's claim, referring me to Jim Cain, Director of Product Communications at Ford. After a pleasant chat on the phone, Cain sent me this email to clarify Ford's position on LGBT marketing.
The AFA has made its decision and is ready to move on. Our principles have not changed. We are committed to treating everyone fairly and with respect, including our dealers, customers and employees. Ford will continue to market its products widely to attract as many customers as possible and make charitable contributions to strengthen communities to the extent business conditions allow. Difficult business conditions in recent years have reduced our overall spending across the board.

Jim Cain
Director, Product Communications
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury
Reading into Cain's carefully worded statement, Ford will continue to support LGBT organizations and media, although a more explicit message of support seems to be called for. And yes, Ford is reducing its spending in LGBT publications, but that reduction is part of an across-the-board decrease in their ad dollars. Ford has a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Diversity Index (PDF).

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