After two decades of supporting its gay employees internally, Procter & Gamble publicly came out in support of gay marriage late last year. The packaged goods giant reiterated that position with a tweet in June celebrating the Supreme Court's decision guaranteeing a nationwide right to same-sex marriage:
The company has been slower, however, to feature gay couples in its advertising—sitting by as Honey Maid, DirecTV, Hallmark and other brands lead the charge in normalizing images of such families in ads. And in fact, P&G appears to have hedged its bets recently when it did finally produce a commercial with a gay couple for Tide laundry detergent.
The spot, which you can see below, was created by Saatchi & Saatchi New York for the North American market, but so far it's aired only in Canada. This delighted P&G's Canadian execs, who told Marketing magazine back in January, after it started airing, that they were excited to get the spot first.
"We're addressing the diversity, the different kinds of families that love and use Tide everywhere in Canada. We want to reflect this in who we talk to and the way we talk to them, so that they feel included in the messaging," said Manon Lapierre, a rep at P&G in Montreal. "In this particular ad, it's a way to talk to gay couples and gay consumers out there. Hopefully they feel we are talking to them directly."
But it wasn't as delightful for those who want to see P&G air ads with gay families in the U.S. In fact, a petition has even been launched at Change.org to get the Tide spot airing here.
"On the heels of the Supreme Court's historic decision in favor of gay marriage, please join us, as well as P&G stockholders, and even members of the Gamble family, in asking Procter and Gamble to 'turn the Tide' and bring this long-overdue message of consumer inclusion to U.S. airwaves," the petition says. "Let them know that our money spent as LGBT and LGBT-friendly consumers is worth their money spent as advertisers (a fact that Tylenol, Chobani and Wells Fargo have successfully capitalized on recently). Tell them that their courage will not only generate greater sales, it may even save lives."
In January, Lapierre said P&G was "evaluating the spot for potential rotation" in the U.S. Seven months later, it seems P&G is still trying to decide what to do.
"We are happy to see such a positive reaction to the commercial," Anne Candido, a rep at P&G in Cincinnati, told Adweek this week. "We're evaluating this ad along with others we have planned for potential rotation in the future."