- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 4, 2012

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - A New York-based supermarket chain has had a change of heart about grounding Alec Baldwin as a spokesman because of his antics aboard an American Airlines flight.

Wegmans Food Markets said Wednesday it will continue running television ads featuring Baldwin after being inundated with “hundreds and hundreds of tweets, emails, and phone calls” in support of the actor.

“We regret ending the Alec Baldwin holiday commercials one week earlier than planned in response to a couple of dozen complaints,” Wegmans said in a statement. “We have decided to run the commercials again, effective immediately. Clearly, many more people support Alec.”

Wegmans revealed Tuesday it had pulled the ads after drawing customer criticism about Baldwin’s behavior. He was removed from a New York-bound flight at Los Angeles International Airport on Dec. 6 for refusing to turn off his cellphone.

The commercials, which were filmed for the 2010 holiday season, were supposed to run again for three weeks last month but were pulled a week early after Baldwin’s airline dustup.

Baldwin was hired for the ads after he mentioned that his mother, who lives in the Syracuse area, is a loyal Wegmans customer.

“We appreciate Wegmans’ decision and the sentiment expressed in their statement,” Baldwin publicist Matthew Hiltzik said.

Wegmans, a family owned business founded in Rochester in 1916, is credited with helping pioneer “one-stop shopping.” It has 79 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.


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