Last week, Lowes made an enormous blunder when it pulled its advertising from TLC’s reality show “All American Muslim” after a Religious Right group complained that the show portrayed Muslims as ordinary Americans, not radical terrorists.
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Now, the travel website Kayak has apparently decided that it too would like to alienate millions of potential customers.
Yesterday the company, citing concerns about “specific content” (which it didn’t identify) admitted that it had joined Lowes in pulling ads from the show. Kayak later posted an explanation of its actions, but instead of simply apologizing and reinstating the ads, Chief Marketing Officer Robert Birge decided to keep digging, claiming that the blame should go to TLC, which “wasn’t upfront about the nature of the show.”
Since the complaints from the Florida Family Association are that the show portrays Muslims as ordinary, peaceful Americans, it’s hard to take Birge’s explanation seriously. The name of the show is, after all, “All American Muslim.” What exactly did Birge expect? Did he want more stereotypical anti-Muslim caricatures, like the FFA did?
Birge goes on to say that he’d never actually watched the show before, but now that he’s seen it, he insists that, “The show sucks.” Those are pretty big words from a Chief Marketing Officer who spent his day earning a cascade of bad press for his company.