Excerpted from Wal-Mart Partners With Gay and Lesbian Group, by Mya Frazier, published Aug 24, 2006, by American Family Association:
…Wal-Mart hired Witeck-Combs Communications, a marketing shop known for its work targeting the gay and lesbian consumer market, according to Bob Witeck, president of the Washington-based firm…
Founded in 1993, the eight-person agency’s client list boasts automotive brands Volvo, Land Rover, and Jaguar, in addition to American Airlines, Citigroup and at least a dozen nonprofits, such as the American Association of People with Disabilities.
Witeck-Combs, a member of the NGLCC, is also a participant in the organization’s supplier-diversity initiative, or SDI, a certification program launched this year and modeled after minority- and women-supplier development programs. Corporate participants already include IBM, American Airlines, Motorola and American Express.
…As part of the Wal-Mart Stores partnership with the NGLCC, Dee Breazeale, VP-divisional merchandising, Sam’s Club Jewelry, has joined the organization’s Corporate Advisory Council and Wal-Mart will sponsor two of the organization’s annual conferences.
Mr. Nelson said Wal-Mart approached the organization four months ago, expressing interest in the supplier-diversity initiative. “The expectation is that Wal-Mart will encourage their core suppliers — the P&G’s, the Johnson & Johnson’s and the Gillette’s — to also diversify their revenue streams to include LGTB businesses,” Mr. Nelson said.
He said the retailer is “working right now on providing domestic-partnership benefits” and that Wal-Mart may soon join the 261 members of the Fortune 500 that offer the benefits.
The steps being taken by Wal-Mart are the strongest signal yet that the company may be taking a permanent stand on the side of gay rights…
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