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May 11, 2005


I just saw this at dKos, and I feel compelled to make the same reply here.

I'm amazed by this. Not that the AFA will try to pull stunts like this. That's not amazing at all.

What's amazing is that corporate giants, who are apparently successful in the marketplace precisely because they know consumers and what they want, can't seem to figure out when they're being played by a tiny group of wackos.

Microsoft knows when I take a crap in the morning and what brand of toilet paper I use, while Kraft can probably tell you whether or not I still cut the crust off my son's sandwiches, not to mention what's in them. Yet, they're unable to render an intelligent guess as to how I'll feel about them sponsoring the Gay Games.

You have to ask yourself what motivated them to take up the sponsorship in the first place, if they're now claiming they can't read the public better than the AFA can. Surely the initial decision was a marketing-oriented one. Somewhere in their corporate structure, they saw it as a winning bet -- their dollars were worth more to them as an investment in marketing to the gay community than they were marketing to the conservative Christian community, at the very least.

Yet now, they claim to be directionless. How is it that wingnuts seem able to catch these marketing machines flatfooted every time? How is it that they are almost always able to convince giant corporations that the Church Lady knows more about their consumer base than their multi-billion dollar marketing departments?

Shareholders ought to sue, or vote to replace the directors or something. How can so much money be spent on marketing and still leave them clueless?

Let me speculate a little on how this might have happened.

At a typical medium-sized newspaper, if 10 letters come in complaining about the same subject and threatening to cancel subscriptions, the editor will tremble, figuring this means at least 1000 readers are upset. If 100 letters come in, the publisher will know of it, and you can expect that, in most cases, orders will come down from on high to cease or tone down the "offensive behavior."

It's not that those 100 letters represent 10,000 readers, but the fear that suddenly 10,000 will drop off the Verified Audit of Circulation figures often makes cowardly editors and publishers act that way.

A coward who ran Kraft and took a look at the supposedly successful PG boycott might take the same action as they.

Frankly, if I were a hater of gays and I ran the AFA, I'd just threaten to "find" a severed finger in a jar of mayo if the company sponsored to Games.

Your knowledge of VAC gives you away .... hehehe

Okay, I will make the call and hereby promise to eat more of their mac 'n' cheese product even though I find it dreadful.

I understand how this could happen at an organization that spent less money exhaustively studying the purchasing habits of its consumer base. And I understand how this could happen when a question of broader concern among the general populace is at stake. But if Kraft's marketing geniuses don't know that this is a wingnut campaign, that the Gay Games don't represent anything like the question of the freedom to marry, and that macaroni & cheese fans don't know or care about either of the parties to this dispute, then I have grave concerns for the shareholders.

These people make a career of understanding what colors on the packaging are more likely to make you actually crave large lots of artificial cheese food product. If they can't discern that their customers won't be swayed by sponsorship of the Gay Games, then they need to: 1) arm themselves against such an eventuality by expanding the scope of their consumer studies, and; 2) re-evaluate their mar-comm and sponsorship efforts across the board, with an eye toward the results of #1.

I'm viewing this strictly in an economic sense.

Here's the real idiocy of this corporate cowardice. Companies will pay more to advertise on a show with a middling audience that skews young than a show with a huge audience that skews old becuase they believe that younger consumers develop "brand loyalty." Well, ever damn poll in the world shows that the biggest determinant of ones attitudes toward gays and gay rights is age, and that the younger cohorts are far more tolerant and supportive than the older folks. So what's happening is that a bunch of people, skewed toward the less educated, older and with less disposable income, are scaring companies off from reaching out to the consumers that their entire marketing and advertising philosophy dictates are much more important targets for now and as investments in their future.

Also true.

We need to set up shop as corporate political consultants. Hell, the disclosure requirements for Zephyr Teachout alone would create six full-time staff jobs. We might even win a Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal.

Why does the American Family Association promote hatred? I understand it is a "pro-family" organization but that is no reason to encourage intolerance and hatred to a particular group of people based on their religion, sexual preference, or color. Just because a company like Kraft supports ALL people doesn't make them a bad company. If anything it makes them a more respectable, God-like company than this organization. God loves ALL people. This biased, predjudiced organization obviously does not. I'm sorry, but that is not the way I want to raise my family. You disgust me.


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