This week, Hallmark found itself in the spotlight when it removed a Zola advertisement depicting two women kissing at a marriage ceremony. The company initially received complaints from a conservative group, prompting the advertisement’s removal. However, news of the removal sparked widespread outrage that led the company to ultimately reinstate the ad.
CivicScience asked more than 2,400 U.S. adults about their opinion on Hallmark’s decision to reinstate the advertisement. The data show that half of U.S. adults approve of Hallmark bringing back the ad. The remaining respondents are split between disagreement and being unsure.
Hallmark Not Known for Making Waves
Right now, the Hallmark channel is watched by 36% of American adults. Of those who said they identify as gay or lesbian, 28% were Hallmark watchers.
Despite the fact that there are less Hallmark viewers who identify as gay or lesbian, when asked about the Zola ad, 89% said they agreed with the network’s decision to reinstate the ad. That’s 43% more than those who said they did not identify as gay or lesbian.
Sexual orientation aside, among those who agree with Hallmark’s decision to bring the Zola ad back, 73% said they were at least somewhat concerned over gender equality.
The data suggest that sentiment over the ad could be more related to opinions on LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media than it is to favorable feelings about Hallmark programming.
It is clear that Hallmark made a smart choice when it brought back the Zola ad. With such strong support of the ad across lines of sexual orientation, the reversal of their decision may help save face and retain viewership for the future.