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Advertising Fails Sex During Superbowl (Again)

February 3, 2013 Advertising, Culture 3 Comments

GoDaddy superbowl ad kiss

You would think that given how much advertising seems to depend on sex to sell things that it would be in the industry’s interest to try to get sex right, or at least be sensitive to sex-related issues that have powerfully impacted the national consciousness. Is the inability to create ads that portray sex and desire decently the result of an industry in dire need of fresh blood, or is it that advertisers are showing an increased interest in exploiting hot topics to get more “engagement” out of their ads? We have no answers for you, but we do have a collection of Superbowl ads that really, really annoyed us. … Continue Reading

Stripping for Likes

April 12, 2012 Advertising, Culture No Comments

Stussy Strip For Likes Campaign

This week, the sportswear brand Stüssy launched a Facebook campaign to get an extra bit of edge. The campaign, centered on Facebook, enables users to strip the model by liking the Stüssy page. “The more likes, the more clothes come off!” Stüssy promises fans.

Clicking the Like button enabled us to watch the model — who is apparently decked out in their entire Spring/Summer 2012 collection — do a little dance, removing a piece of clothing in each frame until she was down to her skivvies. And giving us the middle finger. Because nothing says sex appeal like “fuck you, lol.” … Continue Reading

Belvedere Apologizes for Rape-Glamorizing Ad, Gets Sued

March 29, 2012 Advertising, Culture No Comments

Belvedere's Rape Ad

It wasn’t long before advertising firms around the nation learned a thing or two from the internet. Posting “controversial” things can mean incredible pageviews, so why shouldn’t they get into it? We really thought we’d seen it all — until last Friday, when Belvedere Vodka released a new ad on its social streams. The ad featured a laughing man with his arms around a woman who was clearly trying to elude him, her brows knitted in a frown and her mouth open into a plea for help as she tried to pull away. The text on the ad read, “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly.” … Continue Reading

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Responds to the Firestorm over Sexist Milk Campaign

July 18, 2011 Advertising, Culture 1 Comment

Everything I Do Is Wrong Goodby, Silverstein & Partners campaign for the California Milk Processor Board

The day before yesterday, I wrote a scathing piece about the California Milk Processor Board’s new milk ad campaign, which features cartoonish men in varying stages of distress, with headlines such as “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant,” and “I apologize for letting you misinterpret what I was saying,” and “I apologize for not reading between the right lines,” as well as a website that illustrates women’s premenstrual syndrome-related moodiness in the same way we once color-coded terror threats.

The firm who put this campaign together, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (hailed for the brilliant “Got Milk” campaign of the 90s), sees their “Everything I Do Is Wrong” campaign as a way to raise the awareness of milk’s helpful effect on the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It’s not a war on the sexes, they tell the New York Times. It’s a way the sexes can deal with it together.

I don’t buy it, and I wrote about it. Today, I got the following e-mail from an individual claiming to be an employee of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners … Continue Reading

Sex Toys Are the New Tupperware

February 8, 2011 Advertising, Culture No Comments

What's a wegasm?

Despite the well-known adage that sex sells, anyone with something really sexy to sell knows how difficult marketing can get. Durex, however, seems to have found a medium for creating buzz with its house parties — events held at people’s homes for which the company supplies items for people to check out and take home to try. Think Tupperware parties… but a million times better. … Continue Reading

PETA Sacrifices Body-Image for Well-Being of Animals (Excluding Humans)

We find it humorous that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have no regard for the human animal — so what if we all develop massive body image issues, at least the animals are safe!

Their latest campaign, which pokes fun at the Transportation Security Administration’s new full-body scan measure depicts a security scan of a woman (all boobs, ribs and razor-sharp hipbones) in her bra and underwear, which reads: “Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan.”

PETA's go vegan ad

We’re here to tell you that in moderation, you too can eat bacon and have a sexy security scan. Just kidding. We’re here to tell you that you’re beautiful just as you are. … Continue Reading

Not Making Enough? It’s Because Your Vagina Stinks

Oh, Woman’s Day, you’ve really gone and done it this time. Their October 1, 2010 issue features an advertorial (usually put together by the rag and a company’s brand strategy team) for Summer’s Eve, a company that makes personal care products for women, which suggests that the best way to get a raise is to make sure one’s vagina is squeaky clean.

You think we’re kidding, don’t you? … Continue Reading

Google Kicks Cougars Out

Earlier this month, the site CougarLife.com, which connects older women with younger men, got a bit of a nasty shock from Google. The search engine giant, which was receiving $100,000 a month from CougarLife to manage its advertising and place it on content pages, told CougarLife that its ads, which had been appearing since October, would no longer be accepted. The reason? Cougar sites are not “family safe.”

CougarLife suggested placing a different ad: instead of one picturing older women and younger men together, they proposed an image of the company’s president, Claudia Opdenkelder, 39, without a man in the picture. … Continue Reading

Menstrual Tweets — Really?

April 12, 2010 Advertising, Culture No Comments

Not to fall behind Kotex in embracing open discussion of menstruation, Tampax has apparently launched MenstrualTweets, an aggregator collecting the Twittersphere’s 140-character missives about — you guessed it: cramps, PMS, tampons, cycles, and periods.

As with most aggregators, we’re seeing a variety of … interesting things.

No word from Tampax of yet as to this campaign. We’ll keep you posted. And, of course, you can go gawk at @MenstrualTweets on Twitter.

Can’t Say “Vagina” on TV

March 24, 2010 Advertising, Culture 4 Comments

Kotex has decided to tackle ridiculous advertising for tampons with a brilliant campaign called U by Kotex.

This campaign is the first step for Kotex in addressing how we talk about menstruation and vaginal health as a society.

“Society has created shame and embarrassment around periods and vaginal health, which restricts honest dialogue and information sharing and compromises a women’s ability to take ownership of her personal care,” Aida Flick, Kotex brand director, tells Marketing Daily. “With the launch of U by Kotex, our goal is to change the conversation and to help women understand and be comfortable with their femininity and bodies.”

Not so fast, Kotex. Major television networks are banning the ad due to the use of the word “vagina.”

According to the Guardian:

Even when the company substituted “down there” for vagina, two [of the three objecting major] networks [which have not been named] still wouldn’t run the ad, so the company was forced to drop the idea altogether. That provoked Amanda Hess, author of The Sexist blog, to observe: “Now, the commercial contains no direct references to female genitalia – you know, the place where the fucking tampon goes.”

An executive for Kimberly-Clark, the owner of Kotex, notes that US TV networks have no such compunction about references to “erectile dysfunction” in prime-time ads for Viagra and Ciallis.

The New York Times reported that the campaign — produced by the advertising agency JWT for tampon brand Kotex — was “a bit too frank” for U.S. TV. Merrie Harris, global business director at JWT said: “It’s very funny because the whole spot is about censorship. The whole category has been very euphemistic, or paternalistic even, and we’re saying, enough with the euphemisms, and get over it. Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina.”

The video on this post is the amended version, which debuted on TV last week.

Information from the Guardian.

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Gamers Won’t Be Seduced, Will Stare At Random Cleav Instead

That Steam allows the objectification and sexualization of female characters in a variety of its games but refuses to accept a game about actually engaging with women in a more interactive fashion is astonishingly backward.

FetLife Is Not Safe for Users

That the site doesn’t take measures to protect user content and has shown incompetence or negligence in regard to user privacy, all the while prohibiting victims from warning others about predatory behavior creates an environment where it is nearly impossible for members of the community to take care of themselves and one another. By enabling FetLife to continue espousing a code of silence, allowing the spinning self-created security issues as “attacks,” and not pointing out how disingenuous FetLife statements about safety are, we are allowing our community to become a breeding ground for exploitation.

Why You Should Vote No On Prop 35

Should people who benefit (parents, siblings, children, roommates!) from the earnings of “commercial sex acts” (any sexual conduct connected to the giving or receiving of something of value) be charged with human trafficking? Should someone who creates obscene material that is deemed “deviant” be charged as with human trafficking? Should someone who profits from obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should people transporting obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should a person who engages in sex with someone claiming to be above the age of consent or furnishing a fake ID to this effect be charged with human trafficking? What if I told you the sentences for that kind of conviction were eight, 14 or 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $500,000, and life as a registered sex offender?

Pretty and Calls Herself a Geek? Attention Whore!

If you are a woman, you might be given a chance to prove yourself in this community. Since there is no standard definition of what a “geek” is and it will vary from one judge to the next anyway, chances of failing are high (cake and grief counseling will be available after the conclusion of the test!). If you somehow manage to succeed, you’ll be tested again and again by anyone who encounters you until you manage to establish yourself like, say, Felicia Day. But even then, you’ll be questioned. As a woman, your whole existence within the geek community will be nothing but a series of tests — if you’re lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll be harassed and threatened and those within the culture will tacitly agree that you deserve it.

Cuddle Chemical? Moral Molecule? Not So Fast

Zak’s original field, it turns out, is economics, a far cry from the hearts and teddy bears we imagine when we consider his nickname. But after performing experiments on generosity, Zak stumbled on the importance of trust in interactions, which led him, rather inevitably, to research about oxytocin. Oxytocin, you might remember, is a hormone that has been linked previously to bonding — between mothers and children primarily, but also between partners. What Zak has done is take the research a step further, arguing in his recent book, The Moral Molecule, that oxytocin plays a role in determining whether we are good or evil.

How to Avoid Pissing off a Stripper

Let’s talk about the strippers. Whether they like to be half-naked or not, whether they enjoy turning you on or not, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re working. Whether you think that taking one’s clothes off for money is a great choice of career is really beside the point (is it a possibility for you to make $500 per hour at your job without a law degree? Just asking). These women are providing fantasy, yes, but that is their job. And as a patron of the establishment where they work, you need to treat them like you would anyone else who provides a service to you.

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Editrix-in-Command:
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In-House Theologian:
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Eros and Desire Scholar:
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Scientific Consultant:
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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...