December 14, 2011 5:44pm PT by THR Staff
Kayak Slams TLC; Defends Decision to Pull Ads From 'All-American Muslim'
Online travel site Kayak is firing back after facing heat from their decision to pull ads from the TLC reality series, All-American Muslim.
The decision comes on the heels of a similar move by Lowes hardware stores, which claimed to have “[stepped] into a hotly contested debate.” Lowes drew significant criticism for their apology, which failed to actually admit any wrongdoing.
In a statement released by Kayak on Wednesday, chief marketing officer Robert Birge said, “When we decided to give our money to TLC for this program, we deemed the show a worthy topic. When we received angry emails regarding our decision to advertise, I looked into the show more thoroughly.”
The statement continued (via Yahoo’s The Cutline):
“The first thing I discovered was that TLC was not upfront with us about the nature of this show. As I said, it’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions. That’s not a business practice that generally gets repeat business from us. I also believe that it did this subject a grave disservice. Sadly, TLC is not enjoying the attention from this controversy.”
When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter regarding Lowes’ decision to pull its ads, TLC declined to comment on other advertisers who may have pulled out of the show. They did say, “We stand behind the show All-American Muslim and we’re happy the show has strong advertising support.”
The Florida Family Association, which has spearheaded a campaign to urge companies to pull its advertising from the TLC show since November, claims 65 companies have already done so. Their list includes 3M, Subaru, Capital One, and Old Navy.