So a network pulls a TV commercial because a conservative pressure group doesn’t like two women kissing in a wedding-service TV commercial?
This is what Crown Media’s Hallmark Channel did to the wedding-service company Zola. This comes in a world where many networks have also run the spot without incident and same-sex marriages are legal in the U.S.
But the hard part to fathom is the hypocrisy. Crown Media’s parent company, Hallmark Inc., which makes greeting cards, not only sells LGBTQ greeting cards, but features LGBTQ couples in Hallmark Cards TV commercials!
Hallmark Channel’s original thinking might have been: “Well, we are still running other commercials from Zola. So pulling one commercial can’t be all that bad. Right?” Wrong.
TV networks do — as they proclaimed in the past — have the right to decline advocacy commercials or TV spots that spout blatant falsehoods and lies. (Political advertising creatives, are you listening?)
Unfortunately, some TV networks might think — as Hallmark Channel originally reasoned in a statement — that anything “controversial” in a TV commercial means it deserves the heave-ho.
But what exactly was “controversial” here?
Is eating a beef hamburger versus a plant-based burger controversial? How about a real-scary horror movie trailer when children might see it? Highlighting serious-cancer issues in TV commercials — with worried patients (actors, or real-life) — can be way more disturbing. Maybe that’s controversial.
Was there a massive falsehood in any wedding-service TV commercial -- such as suggesting a license isn't needed to marry?
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg tweeted about this: “Families are built on love — no matter what they look like.” Amen.
Hallmark and Crown Media are now looking to make amends. But this begs the question: What principles do some TV networks observe when it comes to modern-day marketers? Whatever those things are, they may not be married to them.