Ford Affirms Gay Publication Support. No Victory For AFA

David Kiley

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday afternoon said it will run ads in gay publications, reversing a decision last week to pull advertising of its Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands from such publications. In a letter to gay, lesbian and human rights groups, Ford said it has decided to run ads for all eight of its brands--Ford, Ford Truck, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover in gay targeted publications. Previously, Ford did not advertise Ford, Lincoln, Mercury in gay publications.

"It is my hope that this will remove any ambiguity about Ford's desire to advertise to all important audiences and put this particular issue behind us," Joe Laymon, Ford's group vice president for corporate human resources, wrote in the letter, which was posted on Ford's web site.

The American Family Association last week gave up an eight month boycott of Ford after it was told that Jaguar and Land Rover had dropped ads and sponsorships from gay publications and one organization. The AFA had singled out Ford for promoting organizations that seek to put gay relationships and marriages on the same social plane as heterosexual marriages. Ford dealers asked Ford to settle the dispute. Ford denied that the dropping of ads and sponsorships by Jaguar and Land Rover was in response to the AFA. But the AFA created the perception that Ford had given them what they wanted, which angered several Ford executives--notably CEO Bill Ford.

AFA official could not be reached at deadline. It's widely expected that the group will reinstate its boycott of Ford.

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