This morning, as I browsed through my Google Reader, I found this story from Feministe - Ads pulled from All-American Muslim. The piece references this article from Think Progress, which details how a group called the Florida Family Association targeted the 67 advertising companies of the show & pressured them to remove their ads. So just who are these companies that pulled their ads? Well they include Bank of America, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Estee Lauder, Goodyear, General Motors, Green Mountain Coffee, Dell, Sears, and the Campbell Soup Co. In case you aren't familiar, All-American Muslim is a reality show airing on TLC, which highlights Muslims in the Dearborn area (home to the largest Muslim population in the US) doing, well, normal things. Apparently a show that shows Muslims as normal people with families, who aren't violent jihadists trying to hurt people, is some kind of liberal conspiracy that must be stopped! Or at least that's what the Florida Family Association thinks, check out their statement:
Clearly this program is attempting to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad and to influence them to believe that being concerned about the jihad threat would somehow victimize these nice people in this show.
Needless to say, people are pissed. Check out this piece in the Detroit News.
I posted a link to the Feministe story on my FB page and Twitter, I got several "Well I don't patronize any of those stores so it will be easy for me to boycott them". Ummm...yall do realize its not that simple right? Corporations nowadays own numerous brands, subsidiaries, affiliates, etc. And while you may not shop at Sears or buy a Dell computer, you still may be giving money to the parent companies of the companies listed who have pulled their ads.
For example, take a look at the Estee Lauder Wikipedia page. They own 27 brands - TWENTY-SEVEN! So anytime you buy a product branded with Aveda, Clinique, Michael Kors, or Tommy Hilfiger, you are putting money in the pockets of Estee Lauder. The same goes for Sears - they also Kmart and Land's End. Get where I'm going with this?
Here's a list of companies involved & some of their brands:
- Estee Lauder - Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, La Mer, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Missoni, Ojon, Origins, Smashbox Cosmetics, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan
- Sears - Kmart, Big Kmart, Super Kmart, Land's End
- Lowe's - Kobalt tools, Olympic paint, Valspar paint (only sold in Lowe's stores)
- General Motors - Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet
- Bank of America - Merrill Lynch
- Goodyear - Dunlop Tires, Kelly Springfield Tire Company, Fierce, Lee
- Green Mountain Coffee - Newman's Own Organic Blend; supplies coffee to McDonald's & Bruegger's
- Wal-Mart - Sam's Club, Marketside
- Campbell Soup Co - Pepperidge Farm, Prego, Swanson broth, V8 juices
Some of you may think, "hey who cares? Companies can advertise on whatever show/medium they want". You're absolutely right about that. What bothers me (and many others) is the fact that these companies were targeted for advertising during a show that portrayed Muslims in a positive or neutral light. Since 2001 Muslims have been vilified, ostracized, and unfairly portrayed as billions of future terrorists just waiting to take down America. A show comes along to dispel that myth, or at least give a different viewpoint, and nutjobs in Florida (which I'm sure isn't a coincidence considering how many crazy stories come out of Florida) are so offended by this that they go after the sponsors. And what's even worse - the sponsors agree! Of course tho, they don't have any problem with showing their ads during such "wholesome" shows as Toddlers & Tiaras or Sister Wives. But showing Muslims as anything other than terrorists? Well that's just un-American! /sarcasm
I'm so disgusted. Seriously.
I'm not telling you what you should do with your money...but do you want to financially support companies who are so willing to bow to the demands of fringe groups?
Knowledge is power.
Think about that list of brands the next time you make a purchase.