Hallmark Faces Holiday Controversy After Rejecting Ad With Same-Sex Couple

Variety | 12/14/2019 | Brian Steinberg
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Hallmark Channel this week delivered a sentiment very different from the ones found in its parent company’s greeting cards when its executives questioned an ad showing two women getting married — and barred the commercial from running on its schedule.

Zola, a company that offers online wedding registries and wedding planning services, had been running commercials in recent days that feature a **** couple contemplating whether their wedding might have gone better if they had used Zola’s products. A spokeswoman for Zola said the company would remove all of its advertising from Hallmark “for the forseeable future” after being informed by the network that it would decline to run commercials from Zola featuring a same-sex couple.

Statement - New - York - Times - Spokesperson

In a statement made to The New York Times, a spokesperson for Hallmark said the women’s public displays of affection violated the cable outlet’s standards. Another Zola advertisement featuring a heterosexual couple engaged in similar displays was not rejected.

The ads had already sparked a stir at Hallmark before they were taken off the air. One Million Moms, an advocacy organization that says it fights against indecency, had started an effort to get Hallmark to take the ad off the air. The group is affiliated with the American Family Association, a group that has for decades threatened media outlets with possible boycotts over controversial content. The organization was vocal, for example, about the use of partial nudity in the ABC series “NYPD Blue” when it launched in 1993, and, more recently, protested the 2012 depiction of a same-sex marriage in a storyline in Archie Comics.

Kisses - Couples - Marriages - Celebrations - Love

“All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark,” said Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.

The contretemps surfaces during one of Hallmark Channel’s...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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