Monday, December 16, 2019

Good For You, Hallmark

The card — oh, and so much more! — company reversed itself and reinstated advertising from Zola, a wedding planning company, that showed two women kissing.

The wedding planning company’s ads had been airing for more than a week when the Hallmark Channel said there was a problem.

The TV network known for its annual lineup of holiday movies was pulling four of six commercials depicting couples who wish they’d turned to Zola’s services for their big day. The rationale given in a Thursday email to Zola representatives was vague: “We are not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial,” the note, which was shared with The Washington Post, explained.

It seemed that Hallmark had rejected only the ads that showed a lesbian couple.

The move was a victory for a conservative group that petitioned against the commercials, which called them a blow to Hallmark’s “family friendly” reputation and gathered nearly 30,000 signatures. But the decision astonished LGBTQ advocates, who viewed it as a step backward from an iconic brand amid growing representation of different sexual orientations in media. Zola announced it would stop advertising with the channel.

By Sunday night, the owner of the Hallmark Channel had backtracked and apologized for the “hurt and disappointment it has unintentionally caused.” The company said it would reinstate the commercials, work to re-partner with Zola and enlist a nonprofit’s help to improve its representation of the LGBTQ community.

“Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences,” said Mike Perry, president and chief executive of Hallmark Cards, which controls Crown Media Networks, the parent company of Hallmark Channel.

This is a very nice kick in the samosas to One Million Moms, the group that petitioned against the commercials. OMM is a bunch of blue-nosed panty-sniffers who are on the prowl for anyone who they deem to be different than the bunch that gathers around someone’s kitchen table in some cul-de-sac and taking offense at everything.

Among the group’s other initiatives: urging a TV network to drop an “anti-Christian” show and encouraging Chick-fil-A to resume donations to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage.

And they’re very vocal supporters of Trump, who they seem to think is a paragon of virtue.

I’d like to think that Hallmark changed their mind because they are honestly open-minded enough to not only sell products geared to the LGBTQ community, which they do, but advertise to them as well because they believe in equality.  I suspect that’s part of it; twenty years ago I was recruited by Hallmark to write for them, and I know for a fact that they were unconcerned about me being openly if not laconically gay; the people doing the recruiting were, too.  But as with any large global corporation, what matters is the bottom line, and for every One Million Mom, there are a million LGBTQ folk out there buying their products, watching their channel, and caring enough to send the very best message back to Kansas City, where the corporate headquarters are located.  In short, money talks and OMM walks.

4 barks and woofs on “Good For You, Hallmark

  1. I remember the line but not the name of the specific movie….but in any case, the Muppets are watching a protest by a group that is obviously a parody of One Million Moms and one of the Muppets observes that he doesn’t see nearly that many people – to which Fozzie responds, “they round up.”

    • One Million Moms is, basically, one woman with a social media page and maybe a couple thousand followers. Yeah, they round up…by at least 997,000 or so.

  2. With any company it’s ultimately entirely about profit, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s not just about sales to gay customers but the image of the company impacting overall sales. They don’t want an image of being the homophobic or racist etc. company so all the non-right wing non-fundamentalist customers see their brand and think “no thanks” for any reason. The talk about being inclusive or anything might reflect the actual thinking of some management or PR employees, but its really about sales, not any high minded ideals.

  3. So tell me, when you go to the drugstore or the market to shop and you browse the greeting card display, are you actually aware of what position the company that made that card takes on issues like LGBTQ or Black Lives Matter? I don’t think so. Correct me if I’m wrong. But you may not be a member of OMM with a stick up your whatever either. With all the hideous stuff going on this seems so SMALL.

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