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Another company pulls ads from TLC’s All American Muslim

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Kayak.com, the site that helps you compare travel deals from other places around the web, has (accidentally?) waded into the controversy that started when home-improvement retailer Lowe's pulled its ads from TLC's All American Muslim after receiving complaints from the Florida Family Association. After the FFA's website claimed that the online company would no longer be running ads during the show, someone took to Twitter to ask Kayak if the claim was true. Here is the site's response:

Let's be very clear about what Kayak says here: when asked if the FFA's claims were true, they state that they "understand concerns about specific content." That outright states that they're taking an outside party's (or parties') issues with the show into consideration, and the question that prompted this answer at least implies that the FFA is one of those groups.

Of course, after realizing the shit whirlpool the company had just waded into, CMO Robert Birge to took the company's site to explain that people had it all wrong. They didn't agree with the FFA! They just didn't want people to be mad at them for advertising during a show about Muslims. Totally different:

The first thing I discovered was that TLC was not upfront with us about the nature of this show. As I said, it's a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn't let us know their intentions.

Can you follow the logic there? Because I can't. It seems to me the only one picking a fight about this show is the FFA; I hadn't even heard of the series until Lowe's pulled its ads. Unless "going out of the way to pick a fight" means "airing a show about Muslims." Does it, Robert? And if a reasonable person would understand the show would be a lightening rod (for bigots), shouldn't you have understood the potential issues before agreeing to air ads in the first place? (Birge goes on to say that he thinks the show "sucks," for what it's worth.)

Birge does apologize if the move made it look like Kayak was caving to bigotry, and stresses that the people who make up the company believe the show addresses an important issue and that "the people" in the show deserve support as Americans. (Oddly, he never writes out Muslim outside of the show's title.) But any apology is undercut by the vague language and unclear motivations expressed by the rest of the statement; by all accounts — even the FFA's! — the content of All American Muslim is exceedingly everyday and not the least bit controversial. What other "nature" could Kayak have been expecting? And half-hearted apology or no, at the end of the day the series is still down another advertiser.