We have drawn attention in previous articles to an intriguing policy recently adopted by the ailing Ford Motor Company. For some reason, despite its plummeting sales, expensive large-scale lay-offs, management turmoil and tanking stock price, the Company has given high priority to funding and campaigning for same-sex marriage and indulging in general largesse to the so-called ‘Gay Community’. The American Family Association (AFA), a powerful Christian watchdog group mounted a campaign to persuade Ford to remain neutral in what is a controversial and very political issue. Ford’s response has been to increase its commitment to ‘Gay Rights’ and it recently started to lean on its staff across the US to use their votes in elections to further the ‘Gay Agenda’. Since the AFA had rallied almost a half million Christians to both lobby the Company and refuse to buy Ford vehicles, the Ford policy makes no economic sense.
Although Bill Ford has recently handed day-to-day leadership of the Company to a new recruit, we have to assume that the stubborn commitment to homosexual activism is his personal decision. As far as I am aware, the Media has ignored the AFA campaign, other than one passing mention of it by Alan Murray in the Wall Street Journal of 26th July 2006 (see our archive article dated July 31, 2006). Ford Motor Company’s financial and sales woes are headlines in the Media every other day and the column inches devoted to them must come a close third place to the war in Iraq and Britney Spears’ missing panties. One would expect, at least in a world where the Media was not in the propaganda business, that a public company’s decision to unnecessarily offend a large group of potential customers would lead to a lot of publicity and some probing. On this website we are not at all surprised that the AFA campaign never gets a mention in the Media reports, for every reporter and Media person is on Bill Ford’s side. After all, the words ‘American’ and ‘Family’ are dirty words in every gathering of Media Class people and only ‘Christian’ is dirtier. And so, when Ford’s sales losses are discussed in print, readers are treated to every reason except the AFA’s campaign. We happen to think that the AFA’s members, quite a lot of who would normally buy Ford’s pick-up trucks, are making their point with some effect, especially on a company that is in dire straights.
It is worth digressing here. No doubt Bill Ford will tell his shareholders (if he is challenged) that the homosexual ‘community’ is an affluent and important part of the consumer market and this is why the company sought out activist homosexual magazines in which to feature (sexually edgy) advertisements. He will surely have a hard time explaining why the traditional Christian market is not worth bothering about.
I never fall for the oft-put argument that attempts to justify why mainstream product companies pay attention to the small activist homosexual magazines, though I can see why a company that makes vibrators or specializes in homosexual group vacations might do so. For if homosexuals are really the same as the rest of us apart from sexual behavior, and that seems probable, they will see the adverts that the rest of us see in non-homosexual settings. What Ford Motor Company is actually doing is siphoning shareholders money into a ’cause’.
The decision to circulate employees and enlist their support for and against politicians and State ballot initiatives was a clear indication that Bill Ford cares more about ‘Gay’ issues than the Company’s bottom line or its workers. It was also an inflammatory move at a time when the Company was making massive cutbacks on staffing. That Bill Ford has not had any publicity, let alone bad publicity, is down to the fact that his favored cause is also that of the Media Class. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart has also clashed with the AFA in similar circumstances, though with a very different outcome, at least as things stand.
Wal-Mart has long been on the receiving end of bad Media publicity. In fact no big company has been the target of so much negative reporting. Wal-Mart has long been regarded as a conservative company by the Media Class since it has not only resisted unionization of its workforce and avoided donating to Leftist causes, but it has prospered doing so. There are regular Union and Democrat attacks on Wal-Mart, and they all receive favorable and maximum media coverage. Recently, Wal-Mart has been experiencing slower growth, though to read the media one would conclude that its plight is worse than Ford’s.
Suddenly, Wal-Mart followed Ford’s example and started to advertise in homosexual magazines and to take part in homosexual activist forums (see our archive article dated September 16, 2006). These moves must have stunned many of those who supported the Company both with their custom and political influence. The AFA subsequently circulated their supporters in the Christian Churches and pressed the Company to return to its formerly neutral position on homosexual issues. Many, like this writer, decided not to buy at Wal-Mart in future. Now, Wal-Mart has caved and assured AFA that it will keep out of homosexual activist issues. This is clearly a victory for the AFA and don’t expect to read about it anywhere in the mainstream Media.
The Wall Street Journal featured a very long sympathetic Wal-Mart piece in its Thursday December 7th edition in which reporter Kris Hudson opened thus: ‘Over the last year, Lee Scott has appeared on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show, talked about pro-environment policies and given speeches that repeatedly state his organization’s devotion to “working families”. If Scott, the CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., seems like he’s running for office, it’s no accident. For the last 15 months, the Edelman public-relations firm, led by seasoned political operatives, has been directing a campaign it calls “Candidate Wal-Mart”.’
Later in the article, Hudson tells his readers, ‘Leslie Dach, a former adviser to Democrat politicians [Mr Right: including Ted Kennedy and Al Gore!], led the campaign’s first year as an Edelman vice chairman. Now Mr. Dach is a Wal-Marter in full: In July, the retailer hired him as an executive vice president for communications and government relations …’
‘For years,’ continues Hudson, ‘Wal-Mart did little to promote itself as a positive social force, believing its low prices would speak for themselves … But as it mushroomed … it increasingly felt the sting of public criticism and pressure to fight back.’
Hudson talks of ‘public’ criticism when he really means Leftist Media Class campaigning, since Wal-Mart has lost no customers/public over the years.
We can speculate that the longtime Leftist Mr. Dach and his Company have had something to do with Wal-Mart’s lurch into anti-conservative social issues, expecting to rescue it from the Media’s onslaught of bad publicity. Also, last January Wal-Mart hired Julie Roehm as senior vice-president for sales. She was at one time prominent at Ford Motor Company and has a reputation for inspiring ‘edgy’ sexy advertising. She soon introduced her ‘edginess’ into Wal-Mart’s advertising and was responsible for selecting Draft FCB as the Company’s new ad agency. Draft FCB is also noted for ‘edgy’ advertisements such as one that depicted a male lion mounting a female lioness with the tag line, ‘It’s Good to Be on Top’. Last week Ms. Roehm and Draft FCB got their marching orders and are no longer working for Wal-Mart.
The above drama has caused many column inches in the Media but no reporters mention the climb down to AFA pressure and probably none will. Behind the scenes at Wal-Mart there seems to have been a rethink about the abandonment of its neutrality on moral matters. The Media regards such neutrality as ‘conservative’ on the basis that those who do not sign up to the Media Class social and moral agenda are the enemy.
However, before the AFA feels it is making headway in keeping Big Business out of homosexual promotion, we have to note that this week Sears went down the Bill Ford road.
The Media Class, which includes the advertising industry, will try to seduce or pressure every major company into supporting its agenda and same-sex marriage is high on that agenda.