I live near and work near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Toronto is a city with a population of around 4.8 million people in the greater metropolitan area. There are two free daily newspapers that are available along most of the public transit routes.
Every day, one of the guys I work with that commutes by bus, leave a copy of each on my desk once he has finished reading them. This morning I opened up the paper and inside the front cover was an ad by a major bank for retirement savings. That in itself was not unusual at all, the banks typically have full page ads for savings and mortgages and the like. The pictures that accompany these ads will typically show a couple doing what they might like to be doing in retirement, sitting by the lake, yachting, traveling or the like.
The picture accompanying this ad was not that unusual either, showing a couple walking on the beach holding hands. The only thing that is unusual about this ad is that the couple are same-sex…both are men.
The reason for my even mentioning this is not that I have anything against same-sex relationships or same-sex relationships where the couple want to invest for their retirement (just like anyone else). I just found it a bit odd (to be honest) that a major bank would use a same-sex couple in their ad.
I did a bit of research and same-sex couples in Canada represent approximately ½ of one percent of all couples. That seems like a very small percentage of a customer base to be targeting. On the other hand the number of people in Canada that are blatantly homophobic and/or don’t like to see/think anything about the gay community…I’m sure number greater than the ½ percent. That is to say that someone that is offended by said ad could technically pull their savings out of that bank. The increase in business from same-sex couples they might attract may not come close to what they could lose.
I’m not sure that anything will happen (or should)…I am just hypothesizing here. I have an account with that bank myself, but the ad doesn’t bother me AND I don’t think they would care so much if I threatened to pull out my $3.27 so I will leave things as they are.
The world is changing…and I accept and or tolerate almost everything that I see…but I have to admit that their ad did cause me to look twice.