Thursday, May 31, 2012
Penney for your equality
And not only has Penney’s featured real-life gay parents in its marketing campaign, it’s treated them as wonderfully equal and totally not a big deal. The copy that went along with the Mother’s Day ad was called “Freedom of Expression” and said “You’ll often find Wendi, her partner Maggie, and daughters elbow-deep in clay, paint of mosaics.” It also featured Wendi’s mom, to make it a lovely three generations portrait. The new Father’s Day ad says, “First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He's the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver - all rolled into one. Or two.”
Both sets of gay parents are featured amid other pictures depicting straight parents and other families. They’re just amid the melting pot, as it should be. Of course, this brought out the crazies. The so-called One Million Moms conservative group launched a protest for both the Ellen hiring and Mother’s Day ad.
In response to the Ellen thing JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson said: “Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share.”
When the rabid mamas attacked again for the Mom’s Day ad, a JCPenney spokesperson said: “As JCPenney focuses on becoming America’s favorite store, we want to be a store for all Americans. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re proud that our May book honors women from diverse backgrounds who all share the heartwarming experience of motherhood.”
Now, the Father’s Day ad is so new the marauding mommies haven’t had a chance to launch a protest. But, rest assured, I am certain they will. And now I am also equally confident that the good people at JCPenney will rebuff said intolerance and instead embrace an acceptance of a world that thinks everyone – gay, straight, whathaveyou – deserves to be represented and perhaps wear reasonably priced clothes while doing so. Sure, it’s also business, but it’s good business for everyone when gay inclusions is not just principled but marketable. So thank you, Penney’s, for knowing that love is love, family is family and a dollar is a dollar. You’ve certainly earned a few of mine.