A lesson from the Hallmark debacle: Ignore LGBTQ consumers at your own peril

by Meera Jagannathan
December 17, 2019

As Hallmark Channel executives might have discovered over the weekend, businesses that alienate LGBTQ consumers have little to gain.

The Christmastime schmaltz machine apologized Sunday for having pulled ads depicting same-sex wedding by the wedding-planning website Zola from its network. Hallmark’s initial decision to zap the Zola ads came after pressure from the conservative group One Million Moms, which decried the ads’ supposed “promotion of homosexuality,” saying it ran counter to Hallmark’s “family-friendly” image.

But social-media backlash ensued, including from celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres.

“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision,” Hallmark Cards, Inc. president and CEO Mike Perry said in a statement. “We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”

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