Best of 2017: AdPOP Awards

The Ad POPs (Pride in Online and Print) reward the best representations of LGBT individuals in online and print advertising in regional LGBT media.

Ad POP is a production of the National Gay Media Association, a group of the nation’s leading LGBT newspaper publishers, located in New York (Gay City News), Washington, D.C. (Washington Blade), Boston (Bay Windows), Philadelphia (Philadelphia Gay News), Detroit (Between the Lines), Chicago (Windy City Times), Dallas (Dallas Voice), Los Angeles (The Pride), San Francisco (Bay Area Reporter), Atlanta (Georgia Voice), Ft. Lauderdale (SFGN) and Orlando (Watermark).

Winners were selected from both the national and regional levels.

Here are the winners from Ad POP’s local contest.



Outstanding International LGBT Support

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

101 NE 3 Ave. # 100

Fort Lauderdale


A new destination brand initiative by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau [GFLCVB] aims to make all international visitors to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, including LGBT individuals, feel welcome and accepted.

Released in September, the initiative includes a video highlighting various individuals, including LGBT couples, at locations around Broward County. The YARD in Wilton Manors and Funky Buddha in Oakland Park are two of the locations featured in the #GreaterTogether video. It ends with “We are all human. We are all one. We are all welcome.”

The GFLCVB calls it an “unprecedented” campaign.

“In Broward County, we are making sure that we let the traveling public understand that we are a welcoming destination to all people across the world regardless of the color of their skin, whom they choose to love, or what religion they believe in. We want to make sure that our message gets through despite the negative clutter they see on their nightly news, every day,” said Stacy Ritter, President/CEO of the GFLCVB, in a press release.


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Best Local LGBT Outreach

JM Lexus

5350 W. Sample Road



In naming JM Family Enterprises one of the 50 best places to work, Great Place to Work highlighted the company’s diversity, which included written policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. LGBT employees who are parents are also given parental leave.

But JM Lexus, which is under Family Enterprises, its parent company, also values its LGBT customers and the LGBT community in South Florida.

JM Lexus has participated in local LGBT events, including placing one of its vehicles in the parade of the Stonewall Street Festival in Wilton Manors. Writing on the car read “It’s A Pride Thing.” More recently, JM Lexus was the presenting sponsor for the art-centric ARTOPIA.

Held at the Galleria Mall on Nov. 2 and organized by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce’s Gay & Lesbian Business Exchange, ARTOPIA is an LGBT fundraiser for the arts. There was art, music, film, and fashion, all in service of raising money for the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, The Stonewall National Museum & Archives, Island City Stage and OUTshine Film Festival.


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Best Small Business Campaign

Oakland Park Dental

3047 N. Federal Hwy.

Fort Lauderdale


Dr. Howard Cunningham was recently asked, “When are you going to bring back the ads with the hot guys?” He said those ads are par for the course at Oakland Park Dental. “We’ve always tried to do things that were a little fun, and a little edgy.”

It’s an outward sign of the LGBT-friendly nature of Cunningham’s practice, which he bought in 1999. When he bought it, he says it was a “very traditional, very old Fort Lauderdale practice.”

Cunningham, who is gay, said he encountered patients who still had not come out to their doctors. “I had patients who were gay who didn’t want to admit it within the office because they didn’t want to be treated differently.”

But now, he says it’s a place where gay and straight patients feel equally at ease and comfortable. “So am I,” he said to LGBT patients who come out.

That environment, he says, also extends to patients with HIV/AIDS.

“There were a lot of people not being treated kindly or well because of their HIV status. With us, they knew they could be honest and no one was going to treat them badly. No one was ever going to judge them.”


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Best Non-Profit Campaign


2056 N Dixie Hwy.

Wilton Manors


Getting people to understand the link between Poverello’s food pantry and thrift shop is the key to getting them to donate, said Poverello CEO Thomas Pietrogallo.

“People don’t realize that when they donate something we sell it and convert it to cash,” Pietrogallo said. That cash is used to fund the food pantry, which serves both LGBT and non-LGBT individuals in need. People can see what they’re donating to, he said, when they park in the back of Poverello to buy something from the thrift store and see clients walking out of the food pantry with groceries.

“Around 50 percent of our clients aren’t LGBT. Some LGBT organizations exist to serve the LGBT community. We exist to serve our community, the whole community. It’s really a gift from the LGBT community to the straight community,” Pietrogallo said.

The money raised also funds Poverello’s other programs, including the Live Well Center.

Poverello provides a gym, cooking classes, massages, acupuncture, haircuts, anger management, help to those living with HIV/AIDS and cancer, and more. “Live well, eat well, and be well,” Pietrogallo said. “We try to help people live well.”




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