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 Topic: Sick of "Sex Sells"

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Jakob123  



Joined: 14 Dec 2003
Posts: 1
Interests: Writing, Music, Theatre, etc.
Physical Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Posted: 14 Dec 2003, 5:42 pm    Post subject: Sick of "Sex Sells" Reply with quote

I am so sick of flipping through a magazine like Out or the Advocate only to see ad after ad of naked people selling everything from books to vacations. I can see an underwear ad or two but to sell insurance, beer, or even Tylenol PM? Come on. If homosexuals don't want to be judged solely on their sexuality then why do these magazines allow these companies to shove it down our throats like they do. Do we need to see a half naked man or woman to buy medicine? No. Any "hetero" magazine would frown at these ads. So what's the problem?
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anony  



Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 18


Posted: 18 Dec 2003, 11:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Sick of "Sex Sells" Reply with quote

Jakob123 wrote:
I am so sick of flipping through a magazine like Out or the Advocate only to see ad after ad of naked people selling everything from books to vacations. I can see an underwear ad or two but to sell insurance, beer, or even Tylenol PM? Come on. If homosexuals don't want to be judged solely on their sexuality then why do these magazines allow these companies to shove it down our throats like they do. Do we need to see a half naked man or woman to buy medicine? No. Any "hetero" magazine would frown at these ads. So what's the problem?


I don't think hetero magazines and newspapers are as virginal as you say. From Cosmopolitan to the New York Times, I see ads (not for Tylenol, I'll grant you) that are clearly designed to titillate -- and sell. In fact, it is rare for a magazine to prevent a marketer from running a sexy ad. Perhaps the New Yorker stands out as an exception, but then again, it's pretty hard to think of that magazine in anything like sexual terms.

Marketers wouldn't use the tactic if it didn't work, and I don't think they'll stop it any time soon in gay or straight media because it works very well. It's kind of interesting, though, that some marketers seem to have pushed the envelope too far. The Abercrombie and Fitch catalogs aren't doing well this year in spite of (or because of?) a superabundance of luscious flesh.

It doesn't really bother me, either. We are all sexual, and if a little visual stimulation works for the marketers, I just don't see where the problem is.

Anony
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melis  



Joined: 19 Dec 2003
Posts: 1


Posted: 19 Dec 2003, 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Sick of "Sex Sells" Reply with quote

Jakob123 wrote:
I am so sick of flipping through a magazine like Out or the Advocate only to see ad after ad of naked people selling everything from books to vacations. I can see an underwear ad or two but to sell insurance, beer, or even Tylenol PM? Come on. If homosexuals don't want to be judged solely on their sexuality then why do these magazines allow these companies to shove it down our throats like they do. Do we need to see a half naked man or woman to buy medicine? No. Any "hetero" magazine would frown at these ads. So what's the problem?


you know what irks me? these near naked photos we speak of? they are (i hesitate to use a trigger word) all of men. as if only men in the gay community have an interest in skantily clad folk. you'd have to pick up an issue of 'on our backs' to find naked or somewhat naked women.
and not so much sexual photos, it seems that lesbian couples are underepresented when it comes to advertising gay services or vacations. unless they are specificaly marketing only women. and then when there is a photo of a lesbian couple, both chicks are very pretty wearing makeup and tight fitting clothes. this is not a representation of the lesbian community in my city.
well....what can i say? i guess i've said it.
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iynque  



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 8
Interests: Art and design, music
Physical Location: Midwest US

Posted: 24 Dec 2003, 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's fairly obvious why advertisers use so much sexuality in their ads: Sex sells. Usually, the goal is to use as much sex as you can get away with under the law and that will be appropriate to your audience. In other words, while a nearly naked person would be inapropriate for children's Tylenol, it grabs the attention of anyone who might buy extra strength Tylenol.

Since the reason for using sex in ads is so obvious, the only thing left to discuss is why not to use sex in ads.

I think it's degrading to the people in the ads and the people like them. It causes us to objectify humanity and reduces the worth of human beings. We all look at eachother as sex objects; our first thoughts about a person tend to be something like "He's got a great body," "She's pretty cute," etc. The world would probably be a better place if we could remove the over-sexed advertising of a perfect world that none of us will ever be a part of (BECAUSE IT JUST DOESN'T EXIST) and we instead could look at a person for who they really are without the sole focus on their sexuality.

However, 'how the world should be' and 'how the world is' are two very different things. Advertising with sex is cheap, easy, and effective, three very important things when dealing with mass media. It would be nice to reduce the amount of sex in media, but it would be more reasonable in the real world to establish an emphasis on the responsible use of it.

As for the "Why can't I get no naked lesbians 'round here" comment, how about instead we just STOP EXPLOITING PEOPLE, rather than fighting for equal degradation.
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Osvaldo  



Joined: 16 Apr 2003
Posts: 19
Interests: gay & latino culture, US LGBT History, Gay Culture in Latin America, LGBTQ US Latino Identity, Gay Latino Literature, LGBT Political Movements, Gay Sociology, and Anthropology
Physical Location: Boston, MA.

Posted: 24 Dec 2003, 1:54 pm    Post subject: Sex sells... Reply with quote

Well, sex does sell and not all advertisement (albeit a good number of them are about selling sex) are about selling sex. The best example out there right now would probably be the Bridgestone Tire ads both in Advocate and Out Magazines among others. First they feature both lesbian and gay version of the same ad and two they are fulling clothed.

But you in the long run, half naked people are the majority of most advertisements, but thats not exclusively a queer thing....I see it all the time in straight magazines, too.

Well thats my two cents,

Osvaldo Del Valle, MA.
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anony  



Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 18


Posted: 31 Dec 2003, 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iynque wrote:
I think it's degrading to the people in the ads and the people like them. It causes us to objectify humanity and reduces the worth of human beings. We all look at eachother as sex objects; our first thoughts about a person tend to be something like "He's got a great body," ... how about instead we just STOP EXPLOITING PEOPLE, rather than fighting for equal degradation.


Dearest Iynque,

I am not much interested in being seen in objectifying terms (I am, alas, handsome but, um, portly), but the folks in ads are, I think, doing just what they want to be doing. They are handsomely paid for showing off their six packs or, more rarely, their cleavage, and I doubt that they much resent their paychecks. I just don't see the exploitation there.

Anony
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iynque  



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 8
Interests: Art and design, music
Physical Location: Midwest US

Posted: 7 Jan 2004, 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anony wrote:

I am not much interested in being seen in objectifying terms (I am, alas, handsome but, um, portly), but the folks in ads are, I think, doing just what they want to be doing. They are handsomely paid for showing off their six packs or, more rarely, their cleavage, and I doubt that they much resent their paychecks. I just don't see the exploitation there.


1. To employ to the greatest possible advantage: exploit one's talents.
2. To make use of selfishly or unethically: a country that exploited peasant labor. See Synonyms at manipulate.
3. To advertise; promote.

---
Using people's sexuality to sell Tylenol is exploitation of those people. Whether they enjoy it or not has nothing to do with what it is.
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anony  



Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 18


Posted: 13 Jan 2004, 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Iynque,

You're certainly right that sexy ads are exploitative if exploitation is defined as:

1. To employ to the greatest possible advantage: exploit one's talents.
or
3. To advertise; promote.

But . . .

meaning number 2 is a stretch.

I don't see any unfairness, lack of ethics, or selfishness in marketers who choose to use racy images in their ads. When they do it successfully, they're being effective marketers and when they do it unsuccessfully then they're being ineffective marketers, but they're not being "good" or "bad." I don't see any more ethical problems with naked torsos than I do with product shots.
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