Ford advertising cuts anger gay rights groups

Gay rights groups have slammed Ford Motor Company’s decision to cut advertising in gay publications in the US, accusing the car giant of “endorsing prejudice and discrimination”.

Ford’s decision follows calls for a boycott of the company’s cars by conservative religious group the American Family Association (AFA) earlier this year. The AFA said in May the company had a track record of “supporting the homosexual agenda”.

Ford claims the boycott had no bearing on its decision, but Peter Tatchell, from gay human rights group OutRage!, says: “Its explanation does not hold water. This looks very much like Ford caving into homophobic pressure. It doesn’t make business sense to be seen to endorse prejudice and discrimination. This decision will rebound badly on Ford in years to come.”

Ford in the US says its Jaguar and Land Rover brands will no longer be advertised in gay publications, but that the decision is down to cost cutting and a general cut in advertising at the struggling company.

A spokesman for Ford of Britain says there are no plans to change the company’s advertising strategy in the UK, and adds: “Ford does not discriminate against people’s creed, colour or sexual orientation.”

A spokesman for Jaguar UK says it does not advertise in gay publications because their 25- to 35-year-old reader profile is below Jaguar’s target audience.

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