from the American Family Association calling for e-mails
to Campbell Soup Co. urging the company to stop
"pushing the gay agenda," the icon of
all things American is standing behind a decision to
advertise in the gay and lesbian market.
spreads for the Swanson division represent Campbell's
first foray into the gay market. One ad, which appears
in the December 2 issue of The Advocate,
features two women and a young boy enjoying soup
made with Swanson Chicken Broth. Accompanying
text identifies the women as a couple. On the opposite
page is a chef, Christopher Lee, who is not identified
as gay or straight. The second, in the January 13
issue, has Lee on one page and another chef, Wil
Crutchley, on the other. Neither man's sexual
orientation is identified.
Upon seeing the
ads, the AFA immediately took it its website, urging
Campbell to "remain neutral in the culture
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 said.
"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 meaningful
and relevant to them."
Sanzio said plans
for the Swanson brand include further placements in The Advocate.
AFA has long
called for boycotts of companies that place ads in gay
publications. The organization waged a multiyear war against
Ford Motor Co. for its outreach to gay consumers.
To thank Campbell
for its gay-supportive stance, consumers can contact
company president Douglas R. Conant at Campbell Soup
Co, Campbell Place, Camden, NJ 08103, (800) 442-7684
or (800) 257-8443, email@example.com.
There is also a feedback form on the Campbell corporate
website, CampbellSoupCompany.com. (Advocate.com)