An official statement regarding the recent controversy with Alternative Resources of the Triad (ART) and Graffiti Ads, LLC, has been released by the ART Board of Directors. The release was placed on the ART website, OutGreensboro.com:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS STATEMENT
January 30, 2006
Alternative Resources of the Triad responds to advertising situationContacts:
Eric Hinson, President
Alternative Resources of the Triad
c/o 111 W. Washington Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
(Greensboro, NC) – Alternative Resources of the Triad (ART), an educational, resource and information referral non-profit group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and straight allied (LGBTQA) community of the Piedmont-Triad, is responding to a Winston-Salem, NC, based advertising company’s refusal to run advertising for the group.
On January 24, 2006, two members of the ART Board of Directors approached Graffiti Ads, LLC, asking for a price guide for advertising with their company. Graffiti Ads requested to see a sample of the advertising ART was interested in running, one Board member sent the company a sample of the information the group’s ad might possibly contain.
After the reviewing the sample, Graffiti Ads responded saying that the ad was “too controversial” to be placed with their company and that they could not run it.
The ad which the group wanted to place with Graffiti Ads was to be targeted mainly to LGBTQA persons in Greensboro. The ad featured the group’s website, its new “Greensboro, Out at the Movies” event and its new networking group for LGBTQA students and student groups in the Triad.
After the story was broken on the “blog”, www.matthillnc.com/blog/, of ART Board of Director Member Matt Hill on January 26, controversy soon started to follow within the Triad community. While it is true that Graffiti Ads has every right to refuse ads from organizations or businesses with which they wish not to work, it is also true that the concerned members of the community and of ART have every right to make others aware of the company’s policies on ads which may be unfairly deemed “too controversial”.
The group’s position in the outset of this situation was that deeming the ad “too controversial” must have been based solely on the fact that the ad came from an LGBTQA organization since no real reason was given. Saying that the work of educating and creating awareness on the issues of the LGBTQA community is controversial is not only unfair, but biased.
The Board of Directors for ART wishes to meet with Graffiti Ads so that discussion can take place on the reasons why the ad was rejected and, hopefully, so that the ART and the company can come to some sort of resolution to the situation. The Board of Directors for ART also urge all business owners in the Triad area working with Graffiti Ads to continue with them in as much as their own policies, business ethics and consciences allow.
# # #
Maybe if I have time later tonight I will sit down and write about some of the things I have been thinking about over the past few days.
I know it seems like beating a dead horse, but I truly believe that the situation between ART and Graffiti Ads points out the many problems that still exist in our society when it comes to prejudice and discrimination against LGBT citizens.