Campbell's Ignores AFA Attack on Lesbian Ad

Last Updated Dec 29, 2008 5:42 PM EST

The American Family Association is not happy with Campbell's. The soup company started advertising its Swanson broth this month in the Advocate, a gay and lesbian magazine. One of the ads features a lesbian couple cooking with their son, while others show gay New York chefs.

A cynic might say that Campbell's has simply recognized that the queer community is full of people who might want to spend some of their money on soup, especially in the current economy.

But to the AFA it's ideological. According to its website, catering to gay and lesbian customers amounts to "openly... helping homosexual activists push their agenda," and sends the message "that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support." Therefore, the AFA asked its members and allies to write the soup company to demand that it pull the ads and "remain neutral in the culture war."

To its credit, Campbell's is ignoring the AFA. It will continue running ads that target the GLBT market.

"Our position on this is pretty straightforward," said company rep Anthony Sanzio. "Inclusion and diversity play an important role in our business, and that fact is reflected in our marketing plan. For more than a century, people from all walks for life have enjoyed Campbell's products, and we will continue to try to communicate in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them."
According to AdAge, Campbell's is as conservative as companies come, and its official policy is to avoid implying "that Campbell supports specific points of view." Nonetheless, the Advocate is now asking its readers and allies to contact Campbell's and thank the company for its "gay-supportive stance."

At one liberal discussion board, commenters are even urging each other to donate cans of Campbell Soup to their local food shelters. "Eat it around conservative evangelicals," said one, "and when you're done... exclaim... 'That was faaaaaaaa-BU-loussssth!'"

  • Katherine Glover