The American Family Association has for years been waging a campaign against major retailers who have dropped “Christmas” from their seasonal advertising.
Last Friday, less than 24 hours after the AFA announced a boycott of Dick’s Sporting Goods for its use of “holiday” rather than “Christmas” in its promotional materials, the company capitulated.
AFA’s Action Alert, calling for a boycott through Christmas, went out to its 2.3 million member network on Thursday afternoon. Network members were urged to contact Dick’s corporate offices to let the company’s president know of their displeasure at Dick’s disregard for Christmas.
By 10:30 Friday morning, Dick’s executives had telephoned AFA with a white flag of surrender.
Dick’s vice-chairman, Bill Columbo, called AFA on Friday morning to let AFA know that the company will begin using “Christmas” in its newspaper inserts, on its website and in its television commercials beginning November 28.
As a consequence of Dick’s surrender, AFA has called off its boycott.
AFA executive vice-president Buddy Smith said, “This is a huge win for the pro-faith community in America. It’s gratifying to see a retailer like Dick’s recognize that our nation has specifically set aside December 25 to honor the birthday of Jesus Christ. And we’ve done that because of the impact of the life of Christ on world and American history. That’s what this season is ultimately about. “It’s great to see Dick’s join the list of other companies who have seen the Christmas light in recent years, like Sears, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Target, Gap and many others. And it’s a credit to the folks in our AFA network for making their voices heard.”
Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issue analysis said, “Dick’s, like virtually every other major corporation in America, is coming to realize that 91% of Americans celebrate Christmas and that it just doesn’t make good business sense to risk offending nine out of every 10 people you want to buy your products. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain when a company keeps Christ in Christmas and keeps Christmas in its advertising.
“As the Christmas shopping season begins full swing, AFA has prepared its annual "Naughty or Nice"
retailer list. We have taken the top 100 national retailers and reviewed their websites, media advertising and in-store signage in an effort to help you know which companies are Christmas-friendly.”