Ford Motor's luxury brand Jaguar and Land Rover have withdrawn advertising in gay publications.

However, the motor company has denied it made the decision due to pressure from conservative Christian groups.

Jaguar corporate communications manager Ken McConomy said: "This is purely a business decision."

He also confirmed the company is cutting back on advertising expenditure everywhere - not just in gay publications - because of difficult market conditions.

A spokesperson for Ford said: "US business conditions continue to be difficult, and next year we face extraordinary pressure on our marketing budgets. As we began our 2006 budget planning, we decided to streamline our marketing efforts across the board."

Ford's move came nearly a week after the American Family Association cancelled a boycott of Ford vehicles, when the group criticised Ford for being too gay-friendly.

The boycott began at the end of May but was shortly suspended following talks with several local Ford dealers, who requested a six-month period to see if AFA's concerns could be addressed without the boycott.

AFA Chairman Donald Wildmon said in November: "We are ending the boycott of Ford - while we still have a few differences with Ford - we feel our concerns are being addressed in good faith and will continue to be addressed in the future."

Ford said the decision was not linked to the boycott and it is proud of its non-discrimination policies.

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