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Campbell Stands
Behind Advocate Ads, Doesn’t Cave to AFA

Campbell Stands
Behind Advocate Ads, Doesn’t Cave to AFA

Despite demands 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.

Despite demands 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.

The two-page 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 war."

Campbell rep 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, douglas_r_conant@campbellsoup.com. There is also a feedback form on the Campbell corporate website, CampbellSoupCompany.com. (Advocate.com)

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