Campbell's Soup Stands Up to Anti-Gay Group

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    Dec 30, 2008 11:50 PM GMT
    December 24, 2008
    Campbell's Soup Stands Up to Anti-Gay Group
    By: Sylvia Tan

    It's time to switch to Campbell's if you have been buying any lesser soup. Unlike McDonald's, the iconic soup company is standing behind their ads that feature a same-sex couple and their son despite a boycott threat by an anti-gay group. The Campbell Soup Company is standing their ground against the anti-gay right wing Christian American Family Association (AFA), which has taken issue with the iconic soup company's print ad in a national LGBT news magazine in the US.

    The AFA accused the company of "embrac(ing) (the) homosexual agenda" and launched an action alert campaign urging consumers to email Campbell and demand they stop "pushing the gay agenda" and then call the Swanson division directly to ask that it "remain neutral in the culture war." It further accused Campbell's of "normalising" same-sex families, something they consider deeply dangerous.

    "Not only did the ads cost Campbell's a chunk of money," declared the action alert on the organisation' s web site, "but they also sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support. They also gave their approval to the entire homosexual agenda."

    Campbell bought two, two-page advertisements in the Dec 2 and Jan 13 issues of The Advocate to promote their Swanson line of broth. The first ad featured the female proprietors of a New York City restaurant and a young boy having soup made with Swanson Chicken Broth. The accompanying text identifies the women as a couple and the boy as their son. A male chef, Christopher Lee - who is not identified as gay or straight - appeared on the opposite page alongside a turkey and gravy recipe.

    The second ad features Lee on one page and another male chef on the other alongside chicken and roasted lamb recipes. Neither man's sexual orientation is identified.

    The two-page spreads are Campbell's first foray into the gay market. Campbell spokesperson Anthony Sanzio said the company stands behind the ads. "Our position on this is pretty straightforward. Inclusion and diversity play an important role in our business, and that fact is reflected in our marketing plan," he was quoted in Advertising Age as saying. "For more than a century people from all walks for life have enjoyed Campbell's products, and we will continue to try to communicate in ways that are eaningful and relevant to them." Sanzio said plans for the Swanson brand include further placements in The Advocate.

    The AFA, which defines its mission to "change the culture to reflect Biblical truth and traditional family values," has launched protest campaigns against numerous organisations for various reasons including support of pro-choice activism and LGBT activism including same-sex partner employee benefits.

    American Family Association' s history of protests and boycotts Probably best known for initiating a 9-year boycott against the Walt Disney Company in 1996 for reasons including Disney's offering domestic partner benefits for employees and hosting "Gay Days" at theme parks welcoming gay and lesbian people to attend the company's theme parks with their children, family and friends.

    In 2005, the 31-year-old group - with reportedly an annual budget of US$14 million (2004 figures) according to Right Wing Watch - launched a boycott of Ford for advertising in gay magazines, donating to gay-rights organisations, sponsoring gay pride celebrations and providing domestic partner benefits. It only ended a two-year boycott after the automaker largely stopped advertising its Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover (the latter two have since been sold) vehicles in the gay media, reported The Washington Post. The automaker, however, has said it stopped running all niche advertising when the economy soured.

    In 2006, the group urged consumers to boycott Kraft Foods for being a sponsor of the 2006 Gay Olympic Games in Chicago. Marc Firestone, executive vice president, corporate counsel, and corporate secretary, of Kraft, released a company-wide letter stating: "While Kraft certainly doesn't go looking for controversy, we have long been dedicated to support the concept and the reality of diversity. It's the right thing to do and it's good for our business and our work environment. "

    In August 2008, the group announced their boycott of Hallmark Cards for their decision to start selling same-sex wedding cards. Hallmark spokeswoman Sarah Gronberg Kolell responded to the protest saying, "It's our goal to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can."

    A month earlier, the AFA announced a boycott of McDonald's for "aggressively promot(ing) the homosexual agenda" by having a director on the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and for a US$20,000 sponsorship of the chamber's annual fundraising gala. The boycott was lifted in October 2008 after the company executive left the gay business group. McDonald's officials said the former vice president of US communications left his US post and returned to an executive position in McDonald's Canadian operation. The Chicago Tribute further reported that the American Family Association said McDonald's had notified it that the restaurant giant has no plans to renew its membership in the chamber when it expires at the end of the year.

    The AFA issued a press release declaring its victory and quoting from a McDonald's memo sent to its franchisees and which various media reported as a McDonald's memo: "It is our policy to not be involved in political and social issues. McDonald's remains neutral on same-sex marriage or any 'homosexual agenda' as defined by the American Family Association. "

    Gay journalist Michelangelo Signorile wrote on his blog on Oct 15 that when he tried to verify the accuracy of the quote, McDonald's public relations firm said the company will "neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the `email to McDonald's franchised owners' referred to in the release."

    B787
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    Dec 30, 2008 11:56 PM GMT
    This is news to me, but YAY for Campbell soup!

    And for how long do we have to listen to this "gay agenda" propaganda from the Right? The only agenda I see is anti-gay, by their side.

    It's a classic case of pure Nazi-era propaganda: repeat a lie often enough, and it becomes accepted as the truth. I only WISH there was a coherent gay agenda, to oppose our enemies. Clearly they have their own agenda, and it's pounding us into the ground, from California to Florida, and all the states in between.
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    Dec 31, 2008 12:22 AM GMT
    Bravo!
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    Dec 31, 2008 12:54 AM GMT
    That's Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Good!
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    Dec 31, 2008 12:56 AM GMT
    It is nice to see the soup company I buy from has some "balls". More companies need to say no to bigots.
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    Dec 31, 2008 1:13 AM GMT

    Yeah, those people at Cambell's Soup, they aren't....chicken! icon_razz.gif
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Dec 31, 2008 1:15 AM GMT
    SurrealLife saidIt is nice to see the soup company I buy from has some "balls". More companies need to say no to bigots.


    would they be matzah balls?
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    Dec 31, 2008 1:39 AM GMT
    Go Campbells!!!

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    Dec 31, 2008 1:47 AM GMT
    ^^ GOOD GOD! Today's commercials are only about 30 secs...if that! A full minute in the 1950s?!?!?!?!
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    Dec 31, 2008 1:51 AM GMT
    Have any of you (in America anyway) noticed the increased competition between Campbell's and Progresso? Saturday Night Live even did a parody on ads during the presidential election.

    There WILL surely be a boycott (aren't those people getting tired of what to think and who to be against?), and I hope Progresso doesn't take advantage of it for this reason.
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    Dec 31, 2008 3:03 AM GMT
    I am going to go buy some soupicon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
  • crush09

    Posts: 117

    Dec 31, 2008 5:44 AM GMT
    what other companies/businesses are in support for gay rights?
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    Dec 31, 2008 5:01 PM GMT
    I have a feeling part of the reason for Campbell's stance is that one of the company heirs is gay. I met him years ago while in college - great guy!
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    Dec 31, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    The Irony. All the boycotts the AFA has asked for. yet as we begun to boycott and cause problems for supporting Prop 8 we are called Bullies.

    I applauded Cambpell's and wrote them a letter of support. Showing thier actions have not gone unknowticed. I will make the extra effort to support them. Write Campbell's and let them know thier actions are appreciated.
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    Dec 31, 2008 5:49 PM GMT
    Brady527 saidThat's Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Good!
    Couldn't have said it better myself!
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    Dec 31, 2008 6:10 PM GMT
    ORDude saidI have a feeling part of the reason for Campbell's stance is that one of the company heirs is gay. I met him years ago while in college - great guy!


    You are correct, sir! Actually though - there are now three!
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    Dec 31, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    Makes me love Cambell's Soup even more.
  • tbeaux

    Posts: 419

    Dec 31, 2008 6:23 PM GMT
    I'll go by me some soup now too.

    But one quick thing, if anyone gets a hold of the 'gay agenda' i'd love to see it, I kind of feel out of the loop. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 31, 2008 6:35 PM GMT
    It is interesting to watch which companies advertise directly to the gay population. In memory, it started with cars and fashion. Then it became homes and financial institutions. It was the jet-setting world of DINKs (double income, no kids) drowning in cash. Now that more and more of us are having kids mundane things like soup is being marketed to us. Soon we will have queer retirement homes in the pages of Advocate.
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jan 01, 2009 1:18 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie, I'd be surprised if the developers of gay retirement homes/communities aren't already! For example, Rainbow Vision (here in Santa Fe and I believe Palm Springs) has been marketing for a couple of years to the gay couples who might buy into condos and a community set up for gay/lesbian folks. Self contained residences, rec facilities, bars, a pretty decent restaurant, meeting rooms, gym, etc.

    (Unfortunately, the place is sited across the road from a mortuary/cemetery - although I guess that could make some kind of macabre sense and for efficiency's sake.... icon_biggrin.gif)icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 01, 2009 1:23 AM GMT
    The line that bugs me most is "homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support". Worthy? What a horrible thing to say that another human being is not "worthy" of something. A family is defined by the people that form it. Not some association.
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    Jan 01, 2009 2:12 AM GMT
    NoSuchPerson saidThe line that bugs me most is "homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support". Worthy? What a horrible thing to say that another human being is not "worthy" of something. A family is defined by the people that form it. Not some association.


    Religious activists love to use that word. Don't know who died and made them king, though.
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    Jan 01, 2009 2:31 AM GMT
    Cowboiway saidThe Irony. All the boycotts the AFA has asked for. yet as we begun to boycott and cause problems for supporting Prop 8 we are called Bullies.


    You can easily piss them off by using their same rhetoric against them. Explain calmly that although you love the conservative right wing, Jesus Christ told you in the bible "though shall treat thy neighbor as thy wants to be treated n shit." Then politely explain since they blatantly broke that law, then they are an abomination and perverts in the eyes of god and thus should be punished through a series of legislative restrictions. Maybe some butt rape in jail too. BUTT RAPE!