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06/13/2008

Has FOF's overreaching led to Tivo changes?

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 8-91Earlier this week, we showed you how in the wake of the controversy surrounding the "Superdad" essay contest that the anti-gay Focus on the Family group had essentially co-branded with Tivo, the DVR-pioneering company first pulled a microsite making reference to their affiliation with FOF, then eventually replaced the former site with a generic page that did not acknowledge FOF at all. Well, last night we received an explanation from a Tivo spokesperson. And if you cut through the PR speak, it does seem that FOF's overreaching may have been what led to the quick change:

Many organizations, from all walks of life, find value in our product. We are pleased that the TiVo service can help them enjoy entertainment on their terms, however as a company we do not endorse the ideological views of any organization. That said, we have re-evaluated how outside organizations reference our brand & logo. If an outside organization utilizes the TiVo corporate logo there is an "implied corporate" sponsorship, which is not the case. The outside organization should be focused on the product & service, which in this situation is a feature called KidZone. We are in the process of making appropriate changes across the board, so if you haven't seen them already, you will.

Interesting.

Now, FOF is still running Tivo's corporate logo along with their "Superdad" contest (see pic above.) The same contest that is still preventing entries honoring gay or gay-supportive dads from being submitted. So ideally, we think Tivo should've sent a staunch message days ago forcing FOF to remove their branding from the contest, making it clear that they do not approve of discriminatory views on which kinds of dads can be "super." They could have done this from the get-go, and it would have certainly helped clear up confusion as to who, exactly, is behind this biased contest. They could have also forced the removal of ads like the one that directly links them to the venture:


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However, if our persistence has raised Tivo's consciousness about FOF and why it probably was not the best idea to affiliate with the divisive group in the first place (an affiliate we first noted in October of '07), then we have made some headway here. Our goal was to show Tivo that this is not a benign "family" group that's simply out to protect children. We wanted to highlight that none of their endeavors, no matter how well-intentioned, can be disconnected from the affronts that they direct towards the LGBT community on a daily basis. We felt a need to force a change on this matter because, for one, FOF is trying to force a "change" on our sexualities! Tivo seems to have learned from the ire that this controversy has raised, which is a positive.

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Your thoughts

Good work JH. Would be interesting to have been a fly (or vid surveillance) in the board room this week, especially if many board members are FOF members. We're making progress.
Still want some other site to be doing a Super DAD review that allows all families. I would have to nominate the Gov of Mass and his family for #1 currently.

Posted by: LOrion | Jun 13, 2008 10:03:14 AM

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