When Toby Joe and I lived in San Francisco, I worked for Gay.com. I wasn’t there long, but I was there long enough to discover how important it is to have such a site for men and women who are gay, bisexual or transgender. I also realized how tightly knit that community is. It’s reassuring knowing there are groups out there willing to take a stand to see change.
I was a multi-media designer for Gay.com. I worked on banners ads, campaigns, and print advertisements as well. The bulk of my work, was creating Flash banner ads for the many sites that PlanetOut Inc. owned. One of my largest campaigns, was a system of flash banners for Jaguar. I worked hard on that campaign. It was one of my better pieces that came out of my time working for Gay.com.
Around the same time I worked on Jaguar, Coors Brewing Company was facing a massive backlash from the Gay community when it was discovered that a large portion of profits were being donated to anti-gay organizations such as American Family Association. I remember reading about it back then. Bars in San Francisco stopped carrying the beer. Gay and lesbian people (as well as straight supporters) took a stand and got the word out informing people to stop the consumption of all products distributed by Coors. It was a huge success. Their actions spoke in novels. Coors changed their ways and issued apologies. (I read an article back then and am currently trying to find it. As it stands, all I can find right now is this blurb. I will post more when I find more.)
Today, while listening to the Rachel Maddow Show. I learned that the American Family Association is at it again. After threatening to boycott the Ford Motor Company for advertising in gay magazines, Ford has pulled all advertising from gay magazines, online and off. My Jaguar campaign is one of the past. And I hate to break it to Ford, but if they thought a boycott from The American Family Association was bad, wait until they face one from the gay community. Alienating the gay community in order to appeal to this small, right wing group out of Mississippi will not be good for business. I think we’re going to see a pretty massive backlash over the next couple of months. And I’m curious to see how their profits shift. I’m also curious to hear what others think about this.