At this point, you have to assume that Lowe’s Home Improvement is looking for some way, any way, out of the mess it landed in by yanking its ads off TLC’s “All-American Muslim” reality TV show.
So here’s a way out. It turns out that the Florida Family Association — the Christian conservative group that snapped its fingers and got Lowe’s to yank the ads — may have been dissembling about the other advertisers the group allegedly got to pull their ads from the show.
The group had claimed that 65 companies had pulled out of the show since it launched its campaign. But Stuart Elliott and Brian Stelter made some calls and discovered that at least three major advertisers are disputing the claim: Campbell Soup Company; Sears Holdings; and Bank of America.
One hopes that Lowe’s will take special note of the statements these companies released, which stand in stark contrast to Lowe’s response to the controversy.
A Campbell spokesman said: “We certainly support diversity and inclusion,” adding that “we market to everybody here in the United States.”
A Sears Holdings spokesman said: “Sears Holdings is proud to serve a diverse customer base, which represents a true cross-section of America.”
That stands in pretty sharp contrast to Lowe’s murmurings about how it’s “best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.”
That aside, this gives Lowe’s a good hook to get out of this mess. As Think Progress notes today, the big story here is that many companies are not caving to intolerence. Surely Lowe’s would like to be in that company. Now that these big companies have clarified that they’re not dropping the show, the company can say something like: “In light of the news that the Florida Family Association has apparently misled people about whether other companies are boycotting the show, we have decided that we no longer need to honor its objections, and we will resume advertising.”
Or it could simply resume advertising because it’s the right thing to do.