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Advertising with pride

Advertising with pride

It’s pride month, and some big companies are celebrating by diversifying the narratives and characters of their television advertising. Not everyone appreciates the new look.

Eliel Cruz reports in an article on the Religion News Service that Franklin Graham woke up Friday with the revelation that he need not support businesses that support marriage equality.

“Every day it is something else! Tiffany’s started advertising wedding rings for gay couples. Wells Fargo bank is using a same-sex couple in their advertising,” Franklin said on his Facebook.

“And there are more. But it has dawned on me that we don’t have to do business with them….. This is one way we as Christians can speak out—we have the power of choice. Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention.”

Cruz points out the irony of Graham using Facebook, an LGBT-supportive company, to promote his boycott.

This week, Graham put his money where his mouth is and announced that he is moving the accounts of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association and Samaritan’s Purse out of Wells Fargo. The Charlotte Observer quotes from an interview Graham gave Monday:

[Graham] said he was not targeting companies that hire or serve gay and lesbian customers. “There’s lots of businesses out there that do business with gay people,” he said. “That’s fine.”

He wants Christians to stop giving their money to businesses, such as Wells Fargo and Tiffany jewelers, “that use shareholders’ advertising dollars to promote homosexuality. … It’s promoting a godless lifestyle. … A bank should be promoting the best interest rates they’re going to give me and what they can do for me as a business. But they should not be trying to get into a moral debate and take sides.”

In an update to his article, Cruz voices concern that Graham might have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire by selecting BB&T to receive the accounts pulled from Wells Fargo.

Apparently, Graham didn’t check to see BB&T’s stance on LGBT equality. The bank has an 80% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index and has even hosted a same-sex wedding reception earlier this year.

The Charlotte Observer headline: “Franklin Graham moving accounts to BB&T, which sponsored Miami Beach gay pride fundraiser.”

Cruz also offers a helpful list of 30 big LGBT-friendly businesses for the convenience of those supporting a boycott – or not.

Do you shop based on the political persuasions of the companies that serve you? Does your faith advise your spending? How effective do you think “shopping your values” can be?

Posted by Rosalind Hughes

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Leslie Scoopmire

There are several companies that I do not patronize, based upon the places where they direct their profits and donations, or their compensation of employees, including: Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, Domino’s, Olive Garden. I choose to positively patronize local businesses such as Pi Pizzeria, Left Bank Books, and Fair Trade organizations that do try to consider the ethical implications of doing business.

Chris Harwood

Since nobody’s answered the question, “Do you shop your values?” Does anyone in TEC shop their values? GC wants the church to divest from companies involved in Israel and oil companies–the lists I’ve seen are mostly American/International companies: Starbucks, Nestle, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, Disney, Home Depot, Exxon, Shell, etc. Are Episcopalians ready to go back to horse and buggy or just buy electric cars and give it all up for their beliefs?

Philip B. Spivey

Chris: I think we may tend to circumvent your question because there’s no clear, easy or—God forbid—viable answer.

As a longtime activist, there are only two boycott efforts I can remember that amounted to substantive change: The Montgomery Bus Boycott from 1955-1956 and the Delano Grape Strike and Boycott from 1965-1970. The greatest divestment outcomes were achieved from 1985-1989 when U.S. divestment from the South African apartheid regime reach a critical mass.

In each of these examples, there was a single target and for the most part, a single issue, i.e., public accommodation desegregation; migrant worker working conditions and toppling an apartheid regime.

Unfortunately, what GC will be considering is not so straightforward; it will be something akin to unraveling a ball of rubber bands.

I’ve never been a one-issue person so when I think of divesting because of discrimination against gay folks, I also think about the other populations in our society that are also victims of injustice. Where this corporate injustice exists, we are likely to see affiliations with captains of industry like Koch Enterprises, Murdoch Enterprises, and Walton Enterprises.

If we find enterprises that broadly reflect policies and practices that promote a spectrum of social and economic injustice, that may be the place to start thinking about a systematic divestment plan.

The dilemma, of course, may be that most of these enterprises are sitting pretty on the stock market and paying pretty dividends. What to do?

Paul Woodrum

Thanks for the reply, Bro David. Is this something preachers could use to avoid offending their congregations?

David Allen

These folks will have to top shopping and buying goods & services from soooooo many companies.

Targets new Pride advertisement;

Coca Cola’s new Dutch Pride ad;

Bro David

David Allen

Tylenol’s new commercial;

Bro David

Paul Woodrum

Ah ha! Moderation even without saying what I think about Franklin Graham. I wonder if the editors would give us a list of their censorious code words that trigger “moderation,” especially as most articles are too bland to generate any comments.

David Allen

If all of your comments aren’t going into moderation it isn’t likely our doing. Most of the moderation is automatic. And God-only-knows what algorithms that uses. We aren’t totally sure what always sets something off. But it takes one of us coming along and seeing that a comment was captured to set it free. Since we’re volunteers, that can take awhile on some days.

Bro David

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