A new hotel ad features a gay couple on vacation, and the mere representation of that concept was enough to send some people into a fit of rage.
Specifically, anti-LGBT group known as the American Family Association took up a campaign against the advertiser, Hilton, for its black-and-white photo as part of a full-page ad featured in Travel + Leisure magazine. The image shows two men (clothed, by the way) snuggling in bed, as vacationing couples do, along with the copy, "Stop Clicking Around," a mildly charged slogan meant to suggest the brand's hotel portfolio is superior and offers the best prices through its website.
Here's the ad:
Well, this was all much too steamy and suggestive for the association. It posted on its website a statement urging people to sign a petition stating that the ad offends their sensibilities, and asks Hilton to market its hotels "responsibly."
It also included the language, "Travel and Leisure isn't a gay-specific magazine sent directly to homosexual's [sic] homes. It's a widely distributed mainstream publication that can be found in many public places such as doctors' or auto repair waiting rooms."
This means your serene visit to repair fender dents could be rudely interrupted by this image!
The post continued, "If Hilton had advertised two men playing tennis, cards, or having lunch, that would have been reasonable. However, Hilton chose to make a cultural and social statement by purposely marketing the promotion of homosexuality to a large segment of the population who finds the idea of two men sleeping together unnatural and offensive."
Just as a reminder for context, gay marriage — inclusive of canoodling — is now legal across the United States of America.
Evidently, the brand is doubling down rather than backing down. American Family Association cited a statement from the brand itself that read: "Hilton Worldwide is a global company of diverse cultures serving diverse guests... We are proud to depict and reflect our guest diversity in our advertising."
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