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I Think I See a JC Penney Purchase in My Very Near Future

Ellen degeneres JC PenneyIn case you hadn’t heard, JC Penney recently hired America’s sweetheart – and everyone’s fave dance partner – Ellen Degeneres to appear in a national advertising campaign.

Although I almost never get to watch her show because it’s on at a time when I am at work, I am a big Ellen fan in general, so just by hiring Ellen, JC Penney might have registered on my retail radar in a way it hasn’t in years.

So yes, I am an Ellen Degeneres fan, like millions of other people.

But see, here’s the thing…apparently, Ellen Degeneres is ….GAY!

(I know! What a shocker, right?)

And because she’s gay, when this group called One Million Moms (which is actually just a front for the American Family Association) found out about her new role with JC Penney, the organization attempted to start a national campaign to get JC Penney to fire her (because, y’know, everyone who appears in national advertising should obviously be pre-vetted by Phyllis Schlafly, Michelle Bachmann or Gladys Kravitz.)

I say “attempted” to start a national campaign because the AFA’s lame call to action hasn’t gone quite the way they planned. In fact, instead of being angry at JC Penney for hiring Ellen, it appears that a wide variety of Americans are now repulsed by AFA’s misguided bigotry. And when I say “wide variety,” I mean it; when you’ve got Bill O’Reilly defending Ellen DeGeneres and the company that hired her, AFA has got to realize they’ve hit a sour note in their efforts to rally their culture army of anti-gay-people-shopper-warriors.

To JC Penney’s credit, the company has not in any way backed away from their new relationship with Ellen as this issue heated up over the last week. In fact, the company has done the exact opposite. They’ve come out with strong statements of confidence in their selection of Ellen as their new brand spokesperson.

And that sort of clear, unwavering statement of the company’s values is so wonderfully rare in mainstream corporate America that it really seems to have resonated with people. I know it has with me. It makes me want to buy something at JC Penney to show my appreciation for the kind of company it apparently is. I want to give this company my business.

Apparently, I am not alone in my sudden inclination to start shopping at JC Penney. According to my pal TGP (AKA: Sweetney), a grassroots-driven JC Penney “shop-in” will now be happening this weekend at JC Penney stores all over the country. She explains the plan thusly:

We’re very proud of JCPenney for standing up to One Million Moms and retaining Ellen Degeneres as its spokesperson. And we’re going to put our money where our mouths are by organizing a “Shop-In” on Sunday, February 12.

Here’s the deal: 1) Go to JCP (or JCP online) on Sunday. 2) Shop. 3) Post a photo of yourself on Twitter/Facebook/Your blog/Whatever shopping at JCP, and add the hashtag #jcpshopin. That’s all there is to it!

Well done, JCPenney!

I hope that lots of people – all kinds of people – show JC Penney a little retail love in the next few days. I myself may not make it into a store this weekend, and I am not much of a “shop in” or “sit in” or “occupy” kind of protester; it’s just not my own style. But I can guarantee you that I will be quietly spending some money with this company in the weeks and months ahead, letting them know that I appreciate and support a company with a clear set of ethics and values, as well as excellent taste in hiring spokespeople to represent their brand.

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How about you? Planning to participate in the JC Penney “shop in” this weekend? Or will you be shopping there more frequently in the future? Or if you are a customer to whom AFA’s “no gay spokespeople” message appeals, I’d love to hear your opinion as well.

WARNING: I welcome vigorous, well-reasoned debate on this issue. We can disagree, and even disagree strongly. But if in my PERSONAL JUDGMENT, any comments in the conversation become rude, mean,threatening, abusive, or off-topic, I will delete them/ not publish them.

Now, let’s do that thing we Americans do so well, and talk about this thing in the comments below.

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