ford motor



Ford Motor Co's Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands are pulling all advertising from gay publications, the company said today, after facing a boycott threat from a conservative religious group.

The American Family Association had called for a boycott of the carmaker's vehicles in May, but suspended the move in June for six months after talks with Ford dealers. The six months have now ended.

"While we still have a few differences with Ford, we feel that our concerns are being addressed in good faith and will continue to be addressed in the future," Donald Wildmon, chairman of the Tupelo, Mississippi-based group, said in a statement.

Ford, which has seen its US sales fall in all but two of the last 18 months, denied the decision was made under pressure from the AFA, which has criticised Ford for being too gay-friendly.

Ford spokesman Mike Moran said the company's cancellation of the ads is part of a plan to streamline the brands' marketing strategy. He said Ford's Volvo brand will continue to buy ads in gay-oriented publications.

A group of 19 organisations that support homosexual rights said they were "deeply dismayed" by Ford's action and expected the carmaker to meet with representatives from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community this week.

"We expect Ford to publicly reaffirm its historic support for our community," the groups said in a joint statement on the web page of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest US gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organisation.

Ford declined to say how much it had spent on advertising in gay publications.

Ford's Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands have not advertised in gay media.