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J.C. Penney/JCPenney/JC Penney - Creativity, Oil Paints, Freedom of Expression

Company: J.C. Penney Corp.
    View Company Scorecard | Contact Company
Brand: J.C. Penney/JCPenney/JC Penney
Ad Title: Creativity, Oil Paints, Freedom of Expression
Business Category: Retail
Media Outlets: Online Video
Country: United States
Region: US National
Agency: J.C. Penney in-house
Year: 2012
Target: Gays & Mainstream
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Two mothers are shown, embracing each other and their daughters, Riven and Clover, along with their grandma Carolyn. The text for this catalog ad celebrating Mother's Day reads: "You'll often find Wendi, her partner, Maggie, and daughters elbow deep in paint, clay or mosaics. 'Even as babies, the girls toddled around in diapers, covered in paint,' said Wendi. They come from a long line of artists, which includes grandma Carolyn. Visiting her art studio in Granbury, Texas is a favorite outing. And like any grandma, this one loves to bake -- pottery, that is."

The ad promotes Liz Claiborne clothing in the May 2012 JCPenney catalog. (The women pictured are reportedly models, not a real-life family.)

After signing Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman, this catalog ad was the next outrage for the so-called One Million Moms (OMM) group (made up of only 40,000 members or so), which already had called for a boycott of the company. OMM ended its boycott in March after JCPenney defended DeGeneres as its spokeswoman. Still, the group said on its website that it had “no choice but to move on earlier in the year but have decided to revisit this issue and speak out again.”

Asked about the ad, JC Penney gave this statement to ABC News: “As jcpenney focuses on becoming America’s favorite store, we want to be a store for all Americans. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re proud that our May book honors women from diverse backgrounds who all share the heartwarming experience of motherhood.”

The OMM protest had an unintended affect: customer's opinions of J.C. Penney actually rose past competitor Kohl's, according to YouGov BrandIndex, a research service.

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