TORONTO, January 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Toronto Dominion Bank, one of the largest banks in Canada, is placing ads featuring homosexual and lesbian couples in mainstream Canadian newspapers and magazines.
TD has placed the ads showing two men holding hands on a beach, two women holding hands strolling along a beach, and a male couple cuddling on a couch, in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and in Postmedia-owned papers.
The ads are part of TD's "diversity strategy."
TD has been collecting data on the Canadian LGBT customer segment since 2007 in order to position themselves as the homosexual community's "bank of choice," according to a study of TD’s data gathering methods by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
"TD views this community as an important part of its customer base," says the study.
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The study quotes an estimate by the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce that "Canada includes two million LGBT consumers with spending power of $100 billion" as incentive to cater to the homosexual community.
However the study also observes that TD has found that one of the problems they face in positioning themselves as the homosexual's "bank of choice" is the small market share - 2% - that homosexuals actually represent.
"For example, TD found that the LGBT population was fairly small (estimates are that 2% of the population identify as LGBT)," the study states.
According to StatsCan, Canada's population was about 35.5 million in 2012. If the 2% figure is correct, there are in fact only about 710,000 LGBT consumers in Canada.
Joel Johannesen, writing on the conservative blog Bold Colors commented that TD's ad campaign targeting homosexual consumers appears to be not so much a business stratagem as an agenda-driven campaign to normalize homosexuality.
"Catering to a group they themselves calculate to represent 2% of the population isn’t just a business decision, it seems to me," Johannesen wrote.
"In fact I imagine the minuscule profits they might derive from the lesbian segment of the population has already been consumed by the cost of this ad campaign. So it does make me wonder who’s in charge over there, and what they’re in to."
According to TD's "diversity strategy," the financial institution will be focusing more time and money to appeal to the homosexual community.
"TD is committed to maintaining and enhancing its position as the bank of choice for the LGBT community," according to the OHRC study of TD.
This plan will, says the study, include "developing advertising (both the creative images and the messages) across all channels that TD uses (in-branch posters and brochures, online and print advertisements)," as well as expanding their participation in homosexual community events "based on what’s important to the LGBT community."
TD has for many years sponsored, and participated in, the Toronto Gay Pride parade.
They have also sponsored similar events such as Célébrations LGBTA Montréal, Pride London, Kelowna Pride, Tri-Pride in Kitchener/Waterloo and Pride Edmonton.
TD also supports "arts and culture events including: the London Lesbian Film Festival, Inside-Out Film Festival in Toronto, the Queer Film Festival in Vancouver, and Image+nation in Montreal."
In 2002 TD Canada Trust awarded 20 young Canadians some of the largest scholarships ever seen in Canada, with students receiving awards worth up to $50,000.
One of the awards went to Olivier Poulin of L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, for “organizing a gay, lesbian and bisexual support and education group at his CEGEP.” CEGEPs are a pre-university school for 17-18 year olds in Quebec.
TD also notes that it supports the homosexual inculturation of children by being a "presenting sponsor for the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line’s 10th annual Youth Line Community Youth Awards," and supporting "an Ottawa-based group that does anti-homophobia work in high schools."
Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank:
P.O. Box 193, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6