Best Unexpected Salvo in the Culture War (2012)

JCPenney's Gay Dad Ad

JCPenney is the somewhere you associate with toxic concentrations of toxic perfume or your grandmother's 90th birthday sweater, not progressive social causes. In June, however, the Plano-based department store chain waded neck-deep into the culture war, running a touching Father's Day ad featuring all-American dads Cooper Smith and Todd Koch, who love their kids. And each other. The gay-dad ad sparked a predictable outcry from social conservatives and bewildered applause from proponents of marriage equality. It convinced few on either side to open their wallets. In August, the company announced its same store sales were down nearly a quarter over the previous year. Not that JCPenney's death spiral is the fault of two gay dads. That, at least, shows evidence of forward thinking.


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