Video: US “family values” group targets Pepsi’s British gay advert

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A US pressure group that “motivates and equips citizens to change the culture to reflect Biblical truth and traditional family values” has complained about a new advert from drinks manufacturer Pepsi.

The TV ad (scroll down for the advert), currently airing in the UK, features shows a young man passing up several women and finally showing interest in another man.

The American Family Association has organised several boycotts of companies they claim “promote” a gay lifestyle by supporting gay equality groups or featuring positive representations of gay and lesbian people in their advertising.

“AFA asked Pepsi to remain neutral in the culture war. Pepsi refused. The company said it will continue major financial support of homosexual organisations seeking to legalise homosexual marriage,” the group said in a statement on its website.

It is already boycotting Pepsi; the latest ad followed a tart response to the AFA in November from PepsiCo’s Director of Public Policy Paul Boykas.

“Among the values promoted by the PepsiCo Foundation is ensuring a work environment that is respectful and where associates are valued for their contributions,” he wrote in reply to an AFA letter demanding that the company stop funding gay rights groups.

“I hope this helps clarify this grant by the PepsiCo Foundation.”

Pepsi donated $500,000 (£346,000) to the Human Rights Campaign and another $500,000 to Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

Last month the AFA targeted Campbell’s Soup Company for running ads in a gay magazine.

The double-page ad featured two female restaurateurs and a young boy. The text accompanying the picture identified the women as a couple and the boy as their son.

Campbell’s refused to give in to pressure and stood by its decision to market its Swanson broth range to the gay community.

Company spokesman Anthony Sanzio said: “Our position on this is pretty straightforward.

“Inclusion and diversity play an important role in our business, and that fact is reflected in our marketing plan.”

McDonalds withdrew its support from National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce last year after a five month boycott organised by the AFA.

The AFA described McDonald’s Vice President Richard Ellis desicion to resign from the board of NGLCC as proof “they will remain neutral in the culture war regarding homosexual marriage.”

Last year the fundamentalist Christian group, which claims to have 3.5 million supporters, organised a successful campaign against an advert that was only shown in the UK.

The ad featured a kiss between two men.

Heinz’s corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh was deluged with complaints and the ad was taken off the air.

Heinz UK claimed it had already decided to pull the advert from British TV before the AFA became involved, a decision that has led everyone from gay groups to MPs to condemn them.

The AFA targeted IKEA for showing gay families in their ads, and has led boycotts of Ford and Disney because of their commitment to equality.

The AFA’schief aims are the recognition of Christmas in seasonal print advertisements and the criminalisation of homosexuality and lobbying in favour of “traditional marriage.”

They have frequently opposed equal-rights and hate-crime legislation that would benefit homosexuals and advocated censorship of print and electronic media.

In 2007 in a dramatic u-turn Wal-Mart, the largest grocer in the US and the second largest in the world, stepped back from the active support it was previously giving to gay-rights groups.

The AFA threatened to boycott Wal-Mart’s next big sales period and condemned the blanket support it offered to gay-friendly business initiatives.

The company succumbed to the AFA’s latest threat to urge shoppers to boycott their post-Thanksgiving sale.