LGBT Advertising Advocate Commercial Closet Merging with GLAAD

Commercial Closet Association, which founder Michael Wilke started 12 years ago to advocate for LGBT diversity in advertising and marketing, will merge with GLAAD and Wilke will leave the operation, it was reported yesterday:

Wilke“As part of its mission, CCA hosted the Commercial Closet Images in Advertising Awards, which honored progressive and positive portrayals of gay culture in advertising (and, some years, shamed offensive work as well). It also built an online collection of more than 4,000 ads (print and video) that portray gay lifestyles or imagery. CCA’s work will be integrated into GLAAD’s new Advertising Media Program. ‘Our work will become the basis for their advertising-media program,’ said Anthony Cirone, president of the CCA board of directors.”

Said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano: “Advertising is woven through every form of media and impacts awareness and understanding of the LGBT community. … We are excited about this new opportunity to expand the impact of GLAAD’s culture-changing work and build upon the trailblazing work of CCA as we launch our Advertising Media Program.”

The merger has been underway for about six months.

UPDATE: There’s apparently much more to this merger than was revealed in Ad Age, via the Washington Blade:

“The vote to merge, which Wilke said was long expected, came suddenly while he was traveling in Russia and included unplanned moves to dismiss Wilke and close shop before a Dec. 4 fundraiser. ‘There never was a plan to shut down prior to the merger,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t have agreed to shutting down prior to Jan. 1, when the merger was to have taken effect.’ Wilke, who started the Commercial Closet Association in 2001, said the shutdown left him unemployed and the organization’s other full-time employee to work part time. Wilke said as part of the planned merger with GLAAD, he was formally offered and had accepted a program director position. But he said amidst the Commercial Closet Association shutdown, he’s been unable after a week of attempts to confirm with GLAAD President Neil Giuliano that the employment offer stands. ‘I don’t know if I’m welcome at this point,’ Wilke said. ‘I never got an actual answer from Neil Giuliano about what their view is on anything.’ Giuliano did not immediately respond Tuesday to the Blade’s request for comment.”


  1. Andrew says

    Sounds like a very reasonable merger, and an opportunity for synergy.

    I have appreciated Mr. Wilke’s work.

    To this day I have avoided buying anything from Honda because of an offensive, homophobic TV commercial they put out in the mid/late 1990s.

  2. Leland Frances says

    “the impact of GLAAD’s culture-changing work”????

    ‘Scuze me. Exactly WHICH “culture-changing work” would that be? Three, count ’em, THREE circle jerks er Award GAYlas a year? At which you have to keep scraping deeper and deeper into the bottom of the Celebs Who Luv The Gays barrel that awardees have been known to say, “I have no idea why I’m getting this award.”

    You couldn’t mean your annual/quarterly/monthly Report Card on the number of LGBT characters in TV and movies. Thanks, but we can count on both hands, too. So what the fuck have you DONE to increase those numbers for the past decades? That might have changed the publics mind about us being nothing but silly pervs who don’t deserve to marry, adopt, serve in the military, or not be murdered? Don’t bother. I know the answer. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

    And, lest we forget, there’s the whoring you’ve done for COORS even as some profits end up getting donated to the Antigay Industry.

    Post Prop H8TE, we’re reevaluating our gay groups and “leaders,” and you, Mr. Giuliano, like your predecessor, are a part of the problem not the solution, and if you had any integrity you’d resign.

  3. homeBiscuitsAndGravy says

    I think this site leaves me with a worse case of gas than before I found it. BTW, FUCK THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. AND THE MORMONS.