JCPenney has seemingly responded to One Million Moms and their failed efforts to boycott the company after they hired gay actress Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson.

Response to One Million Moms’ attempted boycott

Just in time for Father's Day, their newest catalog features a happy family with two dads.

JCPenney has a striking picture of a family in their newest catalog. Two parents, two children, all laughing and having a good time. The unique thing about the family is that it features two dads — real-life couple Todd Koch and Cooper Smith and their two kids. The ad reads, “First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He's the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two." Many parents love the ad, but some feel that the retailer isn’t sincere and is simply using the ad as a way to gain customers.

One Million Moms

Earlier this year, JCPenney became the unwitting target of the group One Million Moms when they hired gay actress Ellen DeGeneres to be their new spokesperson. The group, a division of the right-wing American Family Association, attempted a boycott of the popular retailer unless they rescinded their offer to Ellen. JCPenney stuck by their decision, the boycott failed to gain momentum and One Million Moms has been left behind.

This ad, coupled with one that ran in May featuring a two-mom household, seems to be JCPenney’s response to the attempted boycott. What do parents have to say about the ad?

Simple media ploy?

Some have questioned whether JCPenney truly endorses same-sex couples and parenting and have railed upon the department store for using the image as a simple marketing ploy. “I think it’s a little exploitative,” explained Faith, mom of one. “It feels like they are using same-sex parents for their own marketing needs... it feels cheap to me.”

"It has to start somewhere, even if the pic is for advertisement."

However, other parents fully supported this particular strategy because it helps normalize many different types of families. “It worked,” said Liz, mother of two. “I'll be shopping there this weekend and never would have thought to before. I'll support this kind of ‘marketing ploy’ every time.”

Christy from Kentucky agreed. “It has to start somewhere, even if the pic is for advertisement,” she explained. “I think the more the message is out there, maybe people will be more desensitized by it and more accepting. Bravo and I'm more likely to shop there because of it.”


Many parents we talked to loved the ad and had a very positive response to it. “My hope is that one day, seeing same-sex couples represented in media is so normal and commonplace that no one ever question it or seek to call it a ‘marketing ploy,’” shared Brooke, mother of one.

“It is a direct response to Millions of Moms trying to boycott for their use of Ellen DeGeneres,” reported Kelly from California. “The ad is such a huge ‘up yours’ to them. I love it.”

Tell us

What do you think of the ad? Is JCPenney overstepping bounds by exploiting single sex parents? Or are they on the modern edge, offering a refreshing view of what family can be?

More on same-sex parenting

Two babies and no pregnancy for Jillian Michaels
Same-sex parenting tips
Gay/lesbian parents board

Photo credit: JCPenney


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Comments on "JCPenney Father's Day ad normalizes gay parenting"

Paul April 08, 2013 | 7:13 PM

JCPenney cut 27% of it's worforce in 2012. 2nd worst performing stock in the S&P 500 this year, down 60% in the past year. Gross sales are down 1.5 Billion and it posted a 985 million loss last year. The CEO just announced he is stepping down. I think Monica Beyer is either a completely incompetent reporter or trying to spin this story due to her own prejudice reasons. Either way, not good. "attempted a boycott of the popular retailer unless they rescinded their offer to Ellen. JCPenney stuck by their decision, the boycott failed"......REALLY!!! I did not know it before, but now it's obvious, "sheknows" isn't balanced it's your typical liberal rag.

Missie March 25, 2013 | 1:44 PM

Today I realized that my daughter Grace will grow up in a house where being will be an absolute non-issue. Same with skin color, race or ethnic background. She'll hopefully learn that it's who you are as a person, not the color of your skin or your family tree that people should judge you based upon. I know not everyone agrees with that. And that's okay. We don't have to all have the same opinion. But it's interesting how different each generation is and what biases we choose and/or unknowingly pass on to our children. Hopefully we are able to promote love and goodness. I know it makes me think and work harder at being a better person.

MB March 24, 2013 | 6:47 PM

Most people who claim they'll boycott JCP won't, but people who support rights most certainly WILL swing more shopping dollars their way. Marketing studies support this. People motivated by an alignment of values are more motivated.

Darren March 24, 2013 | 6:14 PM

I think this is fantastic! I had never considered shopping at JC Penny, but the fact that they have stood by their values and have promoted family, regardless of orientation, makes me think my wife and I might just stop in for a visit. We are Republican, btw. I think it is a real pity that so many people here are so scared of change and equality that it will effect their shopping decisions. That being said, I suppose that JC Penny's conviction on this issue has effected mine as well. You've just earned a nuclear family of four JC Penny, if you're keeping a tally, that is.

Jennifer March 24, 2013 | 8:07 AM

Way to go!!!! I will make an effort to shop at JC Penny MORE because of this ad. It is so refreshing to see a company not afraid to include all people, rather than promote hate.

Sarah March 24, 2013 | 7:48 AM

Missed this news-- goodbye, JC Penneys. Lost a customer here, sell your products, not a stance.

mike March 24, 2013 | 6:17 AM

I completely support equal rights amoung humans we are free people we have the freedom of choice, no fictional book shall ever take that away from us. Jcp forever!!!!

pletcherljj March 21, 2013 | 12:44 AM

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Carl Duplissis February 26, 2013 | 12:57 AM

These ads are a refreshing reminder that people are people and parents validate and support the values of marriage. JCPeney gets it and the million moms don't. Some day this will be a non issue. I think it's great that JCPenney is showcasing a couple in their ads. After all, they showcase straight couples, interracial couples and couples of many different & cultures and ages whether married or not. Family is family and people are people. The million moms and many of those so called "Christian" folks are just kicking their feet in the sand and are bothered because their hatred isn't spreading like they'd like it to spread. Goodness always prevails in the end and JCPenney is spreading goodness !

sally January 11, 2013 | 7:16 PM

their sales are down, right? they don't know their audience or they tried to change them.

Troy December 27, 2012 | 1:15 PM

JC Penny has decided to give into the anti-christ view of the world and go with a lifestyle that is perverse and immoral. That is probably why their company stocks and stores are in such lackluster shape. I hope the PR people are happy being unemployed when the company implodes for their sickening ways. It's not natural or accept by most as young people to ignorant to stand for anything. Good bye in the unemployment line....

Carolyn Boyd September 19, 2012 | 9:53 PM

As much as I hate to do so I am cutting up my Penny's gold card tomorrow. I love J C Penny's and do more shopping there than any other department store. However, I WILL NOT compromise my convictions! I know JCP is having financial difficulty, but if they think that putting and s "famlies(?)" on their fliers, when this group represents 2%-4% of the population it seems they may be shooting themselves "in the foot." I will no longer shop there. When they change this policy and let the average family know I will more than gladly spend money in their stores again. JCP, PLEASE RECONSIDER YOUR POSITION!

Steve September 03, 2012 | 6:21 AM

Some of you just don't get it. JC Penneys is not here to push a social agenda. They're here to make money. Pushing an agenada in your marketing, at the risk of affending 80% of your customer base just seems dumb. And to you liberals out there, chill. If conservatives don't agree with YOUR beliefs, they're haters. If conservatives are supposed to respect you and your beliefs, you ought to respect theirs. And conservatives are certainly within their rights to not shop at a store where they're not comfortable. TO JC Penneys: If you want to maxiamize your sales (and your profits), advertise your freakin clothes without rubbing your customers noses with things hey find offensive. Comeon People ! Marketing 101

beth August 01, 2012 | 1:44 PM

I will miss jc pennys. Was my favorite store to shop at until I saw this ad. And as for the person who quoted Dylan about things we don't understand: this is not a lack of understanding. The bible is clear - homouality is wrong. It does not say interracial marrige is wrong nor does it say that women should not work or own property (read prov 31). It is not the homouals who are being misunderstood. It is the Christians who take the bible at its word. Here is a new concerpt - why don't all the people who choose to criticize the christian point of view on this matter try reading the Bible - I realize it's not Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, but still very interesting reading. You might even learn something and gain some understanding regarding our point of view.

Choice July 28, 2012 | 8:46 AM

JC Penney made a choice to openly support a perverted lifestye that is an abomination against God, and I've made my choice to spend my hard earned money at other retailers.

Choice July 28, 2012 | 8:43 AM

JC Penney made their choice to openly support a perverted lifestye that is an abomination against God, and I've made my choice to spend my hard earned money at other retailers.

Velma July 21, 2012 | 9:15 AM

JCPenney did not lose revenue because of the Million Moms. LOL That story made headlines for what...a day? Nobody cared. Plus Ellen DeGeneres has a popular show that is watched by millions of moms so get over the delusion that JCPenney was impacted at all by the lame boycott. What caused JCPenney's huge losses was the fact that it changed its pricing and did away with sales and coupons. This turned off a lot of their regular shoppers.

Emily Rose July 12, 2012 | 8:12 PM

40 years ago people were protesting companies that supported racial equality. Now it's orientation equality. This time, it's not gonna take 40 years for the bigots to look like idiots and lose their war against equal rights. Don't like marriage? Odds are your parents didn't like interracial marriage, and their parents were shocked at the idea of women working or owning property. I think Dylan said it best- Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don't criticize what you can't understand, your sons and your daughters are beyond your command, your old road is rapidly agin'- please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand, for the times, they are a-changin'!

Kathryn Phillips July 12, 2012 | 8:48 AM

I am soooo disappointed in corporate offices of JC Penny's decision to use Ellen DeGeneres for a spokesperson and to feature homoual couples in the Mother's Day catalog and the Father's Day catalog. I had enjoyed shopping there for special occasions, especially Christmas. If One Million Moms didn't effect sales for JC Penny, then why was there a $163 million lose in sales?? Don't they care about customers like me, who believe in strong family values-one man, one woman with children- ??? When one goes against God's laws, the results are always going to be bad. I'm calling my local JC Penny's to cancel my JC Penny card account until they take the proper stand for the kinds of families God intended there to be. The homoual customers number would be very small as compared to most Americans who believe in family values.

Smith B July 04, 2012 | 12:32 AM

Why wouldn't a company want to represent the diversity of their clientele? If you think this ad campaign is enabling sinful acts, you're missing the point. Also, if you think this campaign is hurting JCP, think again. My mom and her friends now shop EXCLUSIVELY at JCP because they're willing to cut a couple of customer ties in an attempt to overcome ignorance and distain. Our country is full of same- parents, so instead of introducing your garden shears to your JCP credit card, maybe some of you should take this opportunity to visit with the loving / parents in your community. I wish all of you had a "Daniel" in your life (from this thread), because his aforementioned parenting skillset is of love and dedication, not boycotts and "evil demon dodging". One Million Moms can enjoy the hell out of their boycott, because there are well over one million moms like mine who shop out of love instead of hate. I'm very saddened by much of this thread, and I must say I'm not at all surprised by the congruence between bigotry and poor gammar.

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