A gay business owner in Greensboro has responded to the bias shown in business dealings by Graffiti Ads, a marketing/advertising group based in Winston-Salem, NC (See prior post, Triad company refuses to work with LGBT group; refuses ad for community resources and movie festival).
John Johnson, owner of the Biltmore Greensboro Hotel in Downtown Greensboro, wrote this email to Graffiti Ads, LLC, yesterday.:
Dear Graffiti Ads,I just wanted to say how disappointed that I was when I heard that you would not place an ad for Alternative Resources of the Triad (A.R.T.) due to it being a Gay & Lesbian Non Profit group. The reason that you gave was completely absurb for anyone to use.
I own the Biltmore Greensboro Hotel and was getting ready to run ads on your spaces across the city but after hearing that you considered A.R.T. to be controversial in subject or graphic presentation I definitely will not run an ad with your company at this point. I have seen the ad that they were wanting to advertise with you and there is no way that any person could have found this to be graphic or controversial.
Shame on you for being homophobic. I must agree with the groups responses that have been contacted in regards to your response that you sent back to Alternative Resources of the Triad. The GLBTQA and friends of gay people of Greensboro do most certainly need to start a protest against any company that uses you to do advertising until they remove your ads from their properties and for companies to stop advetising on your bill boards as well. I was wondering if you realized how many gay owned businesses that are in Greensboro that has your little adds hanging in their bathrooms and how many gay businesses actually advertise on the boards. I for one would like to be the one to inform you that the answer is “MANY”. With an insult like what you have emailed back to Alternative Resources of the Triad is an insult to many in this city I assure you.
John Johnson, Owner
Biltmore Greensboro Hotel
While it is true that Mr. Johnson is a member of ART’s Board of Directors and serves as its Vice President, his letter to Graffiti Ads, LLC, represents his perspective about the situation as a gay citizen and gay business owner.
I think it is absolutely ironic that the ad from ART was deemed “controversial”. If the company had just accepted the ad, none of the controversy currently surrounding the situation would exist. Not accepting the ad, I think, has turned out to be more controversial than Graffiti Ads could have ever imagined.