FURTHER UPDATE: The Human Rights Campaign's (the largest gay civil rights lobbying group) press release is out now:
“Any effort to appease a handful of vocal extremists backfired and offended millions of fair-minded consumers instead.UPDATE: The AP story on Ford is up:
We have asked that Ford repudiate its relationship with this extremist group, reinstate its advertising of Jaguar and Land Rover, and continue investing in organizations working for equality.
At a time when corporate America leads on fairness, we hope Ford will shift back into drive.”
Gay and lesbian organizations asked Ford Motor Co. on Monday to reinstate advertising for its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands in gay publications and distance itself from a group which had boycotted the automaker's vehicles....I just received off-the-record word of what transpired at the Ford meeting with the gay groups. I understand that HRC supposedly has a press release out already detailing this, and that the press release apparently confirms the reports out there of what transpired at the meeting, but I haven't seen the release yet - if anyone has, please post it in the comments.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said Ford was asked to "make a very strong statement" disassociating itself from the AFA while reinstating the Jaguar and Land Rover advertising in the gay press.
Anyway, the bottom line, I hear, is that the groups told Ford what they want, and Ford said they'd get back to the groups in the next 24-48 hours. I don't want to break any confidences here, but suffice it to say I'm satisfied with what I hear the groups supposedly said at the meeting and am awaiting Ford's response.
We'll continue to report on this story over the next day or two, and when we get Ford's response we'll react accordingly.
One final point: Ford really needs to get back to the community by COB Tuesday, or early Wednesday at the latest. Anything longer than that will be perceived as stalling and will necessitate moving ahead with phase 2 of the campaign. I think two days is ample time, especially considering that we're offering to hold back on launching the next phase of this campaign pending Ford's response.
In the meantime, rest assured that we're still making plans for protests and more, and designing those t-shirts. :-)