AFA Shows Their Holiday Spirit with Attack on Ad with Lesbian Moms

December 23, 2008
New Swanson broth ad depicting Café Forant owners Carolyn and Lea with their son, Eli.

New Swanson broth ad depicting Café Forant owners Carolyn and Lea with their son, Eli.

The ad couldn’t be cozier. It’s called “Home for the Holidays,” and in addition to a recipe for Butternut Squash Bisque, it depicts a family in their kitchen – and the parents just happen to be the owners of the kid-friendly Café Forant in New York City. The ad touts Swanson broth as a key element in the dishes for the family’s annual Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve celebration. It’s one of a series of ads produced by Swanson featuring professional chefs’ favorite holiday recipes. But according to the anti-gay American Family Association, the ads require an immediate response from constituents in the form of emails and phone calls to Campbell Soup Company, which owns Swanson. Why? First, the ads ran alongside those of many other companies in The Advocate, the national LGBT news magazine. Second, because the parents happen to be a lesbian couple – Carolyn and Lea – with their son, Eli. The AFA posted an alert saying: “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.” It says a lot about the AFA that they show their spirit by attacking loving families – the kind of families who pitch in and cook meals for their neighbors when their son is diagnosed with cancer – during the holidays. Thankfully, according to Ad Age,
Campbell made no apologies for the series of ads, which it said is its first in any LGBT publication, and instead took a decisive stance on the criticism. “Our position on this is pretty straightforward,” said company rep Anthony Sanzio. “Inclusion and diversity play an important role in our business, and that fact is reflected in our marketing plan. For more than a century, people from all walks for life have enjoyed Campbell's products, and we will continue to try to communicate in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them.”   He added: “Our plans for the Swanson brand include additional placements in The Advocate.”
It’s commendable that Campbell Soup Company has taken this important step to be inclusive of all families in their advertising. But, unfortunately, they will be hearing from the AFA and their supporters, who want to make our families and our lives invisible. It’s vital that you contact Campbell’s and thank them for fairly and accurately depicting our lives – and for not giving in to the demands of anti-gay organizations. Since the AFA has asked their supporters to contact Campbell Soup President Douglas Conant and follow up with a phone call to the Campbell Soup Company and Swanson, we are asking you to do the same, and include Director of Corporate Communications Anthony Sanzio (who is quoted above in the Ad Age interview) in your thank-you. Let them know you appreciate their strong support for LGBT families. Douglas Conant, President Anthony Sanzio, Dir. of Corporate Communications   Campbell Soup Company 1-800-257-8443 Swanson 1-800-442-7684