JCPennys 2012 advertising campaigns for Mothers and Father’s Day got them caught under fire by a group, One Million Moms by including same sex couples in their mail out flyers. One Million Moms wanted JCPennys to take a neutral stand and felt that the business was picking sides. Despite the group only having 40,000 members at the time, JCPennys saw a 25% drop in sales that resulted in CEO, Ron Johnson being replaced by former CEO, Myron Ullman.
What JCPennys did was progressive and it is unfortunate that the public wasn’t ready to be inclusive with the LGBTQ community. It is impressive to see how much has changed though between 2012 to 2017 with more companies including members of the LGBTQ community and breaking gender barriers. Examples include American Eagle with Troye Sivan in their #WeAllCan campaign and CoverGirl introducing their first male spokesperson James Charles. I feel as though JCPennys opened the door to including the LGBTQ communities in advertising, but only failed due to their target market and that they did it too soon. I hope that JCPennys won’t be scared to try being inclusive to again in the future and that next time around that it will be successful.