Campbell Soup: The New Face of Evil

I was going to say something about Rick Warren’s reply to his many, many, many internet ‘haters‘, but everyone on Earth is apparently covering it at once. (Seriously, type ‘Rick Warren’ into Technorati.) So instead I’m going to report on the latest insanity from the American Famila Association!

In case you’re fortunate enough to be unaware of what the AFA is, they’re one of those organisations that will eventually turn the phrase ‘family values’ into an epithet. Most of their work consists of educating the public about society’s assortd ills: abortion, homosexuality, secular government, pornography and anything else they perceive as ‘anti-family’. I have to say, the sheer amount of attention they place on homosexuality is staggering; their efforts at combating the tide of sodomy don’t just stop at leaflets and internet articles, but include such multimedia delights as It’s Not Gay and the hilariously paranoid They’re Coming To Your Town. (Yes, your town in particular!) They also mantain a list of companies that don’t explicitly mention Christmas in their advertising.

For obvious reasons, it is difficult to take the AFA seriously. Their latest volley in the culture war is to sharply criticise the Campbell soup company for daring to ‘support the homosexual agenda’:

In the December, 2008 and January, 2009 issues, Campbell Soup Company bought two, two-page advertisements in the latest issues of the nation’s largest homosexual magazine, “The Advocate.” The ads promote their Swanson line of broth.

In one of the December ads, the Campbell Soup Company highlighted the lives of two lesbians with their son. The others feature New York City chefs. See the ads here.

Campbell Soup Company has openly begun helping homosexual activists push their agenda. Not only did the ads cost Campbell’s a chunk of money, but they also sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support. They also gave their approval to the entire homosexual agenda.

(Emphasis in the original)

You are then invited to ‘take action’ by sending whiny e-mails to the company’s president. AFA provides a stock message for your benefit, but I decided to send Douglas Conant an e-mail with the subject line ‘Don’t Cave To Idiots’ instead. I encourage you to do the same.

The offending advertisement (follow the link in the quotebox) is not exactly the kind of thing that wars are started over. Two women are shown enjoying a Campbell product with a young boy, who the associated text identifies as their son. That’s it. How anyone could be offended by this is beyond me, especially given that it’s a simple fact that same-sex families exist. Campbell is not concocting some sort of utopian future in a bid to mobilise militant gays, they’re simply depicting something that a large portion of the ad’s intended audience will alreay be able to identify with. A large portion, you say? Well, yes, since the ad ran in The Advocate, a publication tailored exclusively to GLBTs. This is not a case of Campbell shoving The Gay Agenda down the throats of America’s innocent youth; unless your kids read The Advocate, they’re never going to see these ads.

The simple truth is that companies like Campbell exist to make money, and one effective strategy for doing that is to target specific demographics. I don’t know or care whether the company as a whole has any particular position on same-sex families. I appreciate that this is a smart PR move on their part, but only someone with a serious axe to grind would take this as some sort of show of solidarity towards the gay rights movement. But apparently, the AFA finds offensive the idea that anyone, anywhere might possibly do something that seems to support homosexuality, which says a lot more about them than it does about the Campbell Soup company.

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