BOCA RATON, FLA. –
A Christian right group has taken umbrage with Office Depot’s support of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, which encourages young people to accept themselves and others.
The Tampa-based Florida Family Association believes that the retailer’s $1 million pledge to the charity — raised through the sale of back-to-school products with inspirational messages like “Be Yourself” and “Be Accepting” — will sway teens toward a gay lifestyle.
“Thousands of kids who might have otherwise worked through their pubescent sexual identity issues will be inspired to accept the wrong choice based upon this unscientific, emotionally charged propaganda,” the group said in a web posting.
The group has launched an email campaign urging the chain to rescind its million-dollar pledge.
Office Depot announced its support of Gaga’s foundation last month. In a statement issued to TWICE, the retailer said, “All of our customers are extremely important to us, and we communicate with them as needed on a daily basis … It is our hope that all of our customers share our desire to have schools that provide a kinder and braver environment for kids to learn and develop.”
Born This Way Foundation also posted a blog on its website that read: “There’s been a lot of talk about the goals of our organization this week. We care deeply about empowering youth and building a kinder and braver world for all people … and we are proud to have Office Depot as a partner towards this goal.”
Limited edition products include $20 “empowerment” gift cards with one of six inspirational messages on the front: “Be Brave,” “Be Amazing,” “Be Yourself,” “Be Kind,” “Be Accepting” and “Be Involved.” Also available are limited-edition Post-It Notes, Sharpie pens, and “bravery bracelets” that feature the gift card messages and the foundation’s logo.
All are available exclusively at Office Depot, both in stores and online at
. The chain will donate 25 percent of the sales of the products directly to Born This Way, with a guaranteed donation of $1 million this year.
Separately, TV personality Nick Cannon is being featured in a new back-toschool ad campaign for the office supply chain that highlights school items and tech products, including his own NCredible line of Monster headphones.
The new ads are an extension of Office Depot’s current “Depot Time” campaign, launched earlier this year, which positions it as “a dedicated partner that parents, teachers and students can depend on for all of their back-to-school needs,” the company said.
The latest spots, aimed at teens, show Cannon interacting with “Rachel,” a helpful and friendly sales associate who shows how Office Depot can help him save time and money.
The chain added Cannon’s headphone line earlier this summer, and was the official sponsor of his Ncredible Entertainment’s 5th Annual Take Action Leadership Campaign to assist Los Angeles students.
“Nick is an overwhelming favorite of all of our back-to-school shoppers, and is particularly in tune with the pulse of young America,” said Bob Moore, executive VP and chief marketing officer for Office Depot. “We share his commitment to deliver great style and value for today’s students.”