Originally posted 12:30pm, 01/26/2006
Last Updated: 1:45pm, 01/27/2006
See also Gay Greensboro business owner responds to Graffiti Ads bias in refusing LGBT ad
Grafitti Ads, LLC, (www.graffitiads.com) a company based in Winston-Salem, NC, has refused to work with a local Triad LGBT group.
Alternative Resources of the Triad (www.OUTGreensboro.com), on whose Board of Directors I sit, approached the company asking for a price guide for placing ads with them. “Graffiti Ads” are small ads which are placed alongside others in framed pictures. Mostly, the ads are hung in restrooms, bars, cafes and restaurants.
The company responded with this email:
Thanks for inquiring about advertising with graffiti ads. We normally do not run ads that may be considered controversial in subject or graphic presentation. Before we discuss our rates, can you provide an idea of what you would want to feature on the ads?
graffiti ads, LLC
445 Springdale Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
After receiving this email, one of the Alternative Resources of the Triad (ART) Board members responded to the company with the ad and answering the questions of the company.
The ad which ART wanted to place with Graffiti Ads (pictured right, click for larger image) is in no way controversial. It includes no material of a political nature and its sole purpose is to make the community aware of LGBT-inclusive entertainment (Greensboro, OUt at the Movies) and resources for LGBT and straight allied college students and youth (QCYNT). The ad’s main focus is ART’s community resources website, OUTGreensboro.com.
Even still, Graffiti Ads claims the content of the ad is too controversial. In a second email, the company reiterated their claim:
I discussed this with my partner, and unfortunately, we are afraid the subject is just too controversial for graffiti ads at this time. We will keep you in mind in case things change in the future.
Thanks again for your interest.
graffiti ads, LLC
445 Springdale Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
I do not believe for one second that they really think that the “subject is too controversial” because there is nothing controversial about the ad. Just like every other company or group ad, the ART ad is targeted toward a certain portion of the population. Those who are interested in the ad will read it and take in the information. Those who are not interested in the ad will glance at it and move on with their lives.
In my opinion, Graffiti Ads is using the “controversial” claim as a way to get around what is obviously a bias toward LGBT people and LGBT-inclusive groups. What Graffiti Ads should have said, because this is what they really mean, is: “We do not want to accept an ad from an LGBT group because we do not agree with the aims of your group and we are not tolerant or accepting.”
Homosexuality may, in fact, be a controversial issue to some, but the great majority of people in Greensboro are tolerant and many are also accepting. The purpose of ART and the purpose of the ad is not to be controversial and we do not include anything controversial. I could definitely see being refused for an ad if we had included something relating to homoseuxality in a political manner, but we didn’t. Because ART is a community resource, support, awareness and education group, we do not engage in political and controversial issues.
Graffiti Ads (www.graffitiads.com) distributes their ads in numerous locations in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Their distribution points can be viewed on their website at www.graffitiads.com/dist_points.php. It is important to note that many of their distribution points are businesses which are also listed on the community resources section of the OUTGreensboro.com website.
The company also states: “Our boards allow you to target your customer by age, gender, income, lifestyle, geographic location and interest.”
They continue with: “You maintain complete control over where your ads are placed, the number of ads placed and the length of time they are displayed.”
Graffiti Ads’ concern over the ART ad being “too controversial” is a horrible excuse for being bias. The Art ad targets certain customers by age, gender, income, lifestyle, geographic location and interest… just like every other company. If Graffiti Ads is worried about making others upset with this “controversial” ad then they are worrying too much. Since advertisers “maintain complete control” over the placement of the ads, do you think that ART would place the ad in a business known to be un-friendly, intolerant or unaccepting of LGBT people?
I urge any person who reads this to urge Graffiti Ads’ distribution points (listed on their website at www.graffitiads.com/dist_points.php) to stop allowing Graffiti Ads to place their products in their businesses. Graffiti Ads is not a tolerant or accepting business.
EDIT: 11:48pm, 01/26/2006: There is a difference between Alternative Resources of the Triad (ART), Greensboro OUT at the Movies and QCYNT. Alternative Resources of the Triad is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit which sponsors and helps to coordinate Greensboro OUT at the Movies, an on-going LGBTQ and straight allied movie festival. QCYNT is also a project of ART. QCYNT has just been established in recent months and is overseen by an Advisory Board comprised, currently, of college students. QCYNT is also overseen by the ART Board of Directors, seeing as though QCYNT is a project of the group. Maybe this little edit will clarify things for some people out there in the “blogosphere”.
Other bloggers covering the issue:
- W-S company refuses to work with GLBT group in Greensboro Sue Polinsky
- Is Outgreensboro a Network For Youth? WARNING: This is a post from the “other side of the aisle”… be prepared for some very ignorant statements
- Graffiti Ads or The Power of Bloggers Beth, Greensboring.com
- Tell your buddies at Skybar you think gay youth groups are too controversial…jackasses Joe Killian, Automatic Writing
- Market place of (some) ideas Ed Cone