Backlash against Hallmark for pulling gay wedding adverts

The Canary

The Hallmark Channel has pulled ads for a wedding-planning website that featured two brides kissing at the altar following pressure from a conservative advocacy group,

In one of the adverts for Zola, two brides stand at the altar and discuss whether their wedding would go more smoothly if they had used a planning site before sharing a kiss.

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Zola had submitted six adverts, four of which featured a lesbian couple. After Hallmark pulled those ads, but not two featuring only opposite-sex couples, Zola pulled its remaining ads. Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer said

The only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was that the commercials that did not meet Hallmark’s standards included a lesbian couple kissing.

All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.

Actress Sandra Bernhard, who played one of the first openly bisexual characters on network TV in Roseanne criticised Hallmark’s decision.

There was an immediate backlash against the decision on Twitter;https://twitter.com/joncoopertweets/status/1206079342729682945

Molly Biwer, senior vice president for public affairs and communications at Hallmark, said a conservative group, One Million Moms, part of the American Family Association, had complained about the ads to Bill Abbott, CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark’s parent company. A post on the group’s website said that Abbott “reported the advertisement aired in error”.

Biwer said:

The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value.

The Hallmark brand is never going to be divisive. We don’t want to generate controversy, we’ve tried very hard to stay out of it… we just felt it was in the best interest of the brand to pull them and not continue to generate controversy.

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