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Carrefour withdraws advertising campaign from Polish news website over LGBT rights

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By Matthew Holroyd
Carrefour said the television's content "did not correspond to the company's values".
Carrefour said the television's content "did not correspond to the company's values".   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Bob Edme
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The French retail chain Carrefour has confirmed the withdrawal of its latest advertising campaign from Polish state television over LGBT rights.

The company announced on Twitter that they had suspended the campaign from Telewizja Polska (TVP) after a user notified them.

A Carrefour advertisement was displayed online next to news stories about Poland's LGBT community, including a quote from Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski about a "rainbow plague".

Carrefour's headquarters stated on Twitter that the content "did not correspond to the company's values".

"After receiving the report we paused the ongoing campaign".

Poland is one of just six European countries to not yet legalise same-sex marriage and several towns in the country declared themselves "LGBT-free" last year followed a push from the ruling Law and Justice party.

The head of TVP, Samuel Pereira, has criticised the decision by Carrefour, stating that Telewizja Polska is an "information portal" which "has never had a 'rainbow plague' column".

"Such columns can be found in all media," added Daniel Liszkiewicz, the vice head of journalism at TVP.

But in a further statement, Carrefour's branch in Poland confirmed the decision to suspend funding would not be changed.

"The advertisement indicated in the post was wrongly displayed in connection with the automated purchase of advertising campaigns on VOD platforms," Carrefour Polska said on Twitter.

"We immediately responded by withholding it and implementing stronger exclusions for this type of automated advertising campaigns".

"Our network has no plans to change its advertising policy to date."

Carrefour Polska said its policies prevent their advertising campaigns from being featured alongside topics such as racism, violence, and sex.

The retail chain operates over 900 stores across Poland.

"Both the position of Carrefour Polska and Carrefour Group in France are convergent," the company added in a statement.

"We made a decision not to post our ads on content that does not reflect the values of tolerance, respect for other people, or respect for diversity."

"Carrefour Polska is a company that adheres to the highest standards in respect of the diversity of its customers, employees and business partners".

In February, the French town of Saint-Jean-de-Braye ended official relations with Tuchów in Poland over its attitude to LGBT rights.

Conservative politicians say the declarations protected children and traditional Polish families from a growing gay rights movement.

But in July, the European Union rejected grants under a twinning programme to six Polish cities because of their attitude to the LGBT community. Poland responded by announcing that the state would instead fund the "LGBT free" towns.

Earlier this month, Brussels also announced its first-ever strategy for achieving LGBT equality.

"EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by member states and public authorities," tweeted EU Equality Commissioner, Helena Dalli.