KAYAK On Ad Controversy: Muslim TV Show ‘Sucked’
BOSTON (CBS/AP) – While home improvement giant Lowe’s is stirring up controversy over its decision to pull advertising from the TLC reality show “All-American Muslim”, a New England-based company is quietly trying to avoid a similar fate.
KAYAK Software, which announced that it also would not be running any more ads during the show, sought to clarify its decision by saying “the show sucked.”
“All-American Muslim” follows the lives of five Muslim-American families in Dearborn, Michigan.
Recently, Conservative group “Florida Family Association” began an email campaign to convince advertisers to bail on the program, claiming it is “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values,”
Lowe’s was the first major company to confirm that it had pulled its ads.
And after receiving a number of emails from the campaign, KAYAK Chief Marketing Officer Robert Birge says he decided to watch the show.
Birge says he watched the first two episodes.
“Mostly, I just thought the show sucked,” he wrote in a letter on KAYAK’s website. “Based on our dealings with TLC and the simple assessment of the show, I decided we should put our money elsewhere.”
Birge also said TLC was not upfront about the nature of the program and that “TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions.”
Birge said he understands that many people perceived his decision as bigoted and for that, he was quick to offer an apology.
“We would like to apologize to anyone who was offended by how we handled our decision not to continue advertising on “All-American Muslim” when it returns in January. We decided to advertise on it in the first place because we adamantly support tolerance and diversity. Our 150-person team includes people from all over the world, and from all walks of life.”
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)