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Survey: Antigay
boycotts don't work

Survey: Antigay
boycotts don't work

An overwhelming majority of American adults say knowing that a company markets its products or services to gays and lesbians would have no impact on their purchasing decisions or attitudes about that company, according to a new national survey. While the results mirror the findings of a similar national survey conducted for Fleishman-Hillard two years ago, they come at a time of increasingly contentious debate about the rights of gays and lesbians and their role in American life.

The survey, conducted for FH Out Front, Fleishman-Hillard's global gay and lesbian communications practice, also found that a majority of Americans would "do nothing" to support a boycott against companies targeted for promoting their products to gays and lesbians. "We conducted the first survey in a dramatically different environment for gay and lesbian issues, yet the results from June 2004 were similar to the most current survey taken in May 2006," explained Ben Finzel, cochair of FH Out Front and a senior vice president in Fleishman-Hillard's Washington, D.C., office. "This year's results confirm that outreach to this audience often makes good business sense. The similar results from 2004 to 2006 validate what we're seeing every day: The gay and lesbian consumer is increasingly important to corporate America, particularly as savvy marketers look for unique ways to differentiate their products and services in an increasingly crowded marketplace."

Of those surveyed, 82% said it does not matter to them if a company whose products they use on a regular basis also promotes them to the gay and lesbian community (virtually the same as the 81% who said so in 2004). In 2006, two thirds of American adults surveyed (68%) indicated that knowing a company promotes its products or services to gays and lesbians has no effect on how they feel about the company. The 2006 survey also found that 52% (up from 46% in 2004) would do nothing if an organization launched a boycott against companies that market or promote products and services to gays and lesbians. (The Advocate)

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