Flipping through the latest edition of Out the other day, I couldn’t help but stop and stare at the 2xist ad you see above. It’s kind of hard to miss. The ad, featuring Brazilian model Andre Ziehe, has sent readers’ tongues wagging, but at least one publication has deemed it too racy for its pages. Details has chosen to publish a less risque version of the ad featuring only frontal shots of Ziehe. Men’s Health will also run the more conservative ad, though the magazine’s editors claim they were only offered that version.
It’s not surprising that Out was the only magazine of the three that chose to publish the daring ad. After all, Out is a “gay” magazine, and while Details and Men’s Health acknowledge their gay tendencies, they have yet to fully come out of the periodical closet.
In a previous post I discussed how marketers often resort to sex when targeting gay men (an attraction to the male body is our least common denominator after all). While it’s true that I would prefer gay-targeted ads to use smarts over sex, the reality is that 2xist is marketing underwear – sexy, barely-there underwear at that. What options do they have?
In another post I lamented on the subject matter of the majority of Out‘s advertisements. It seems that ads for fashion, recreation, alcohol, and HIV medications tend to dominate the magazine’s pages (in the post, however, I acknowledged it’s not really the magazine’s fault). At the same time, I am a fervent believer that publications should run the ads their advertisers provide, assuming they don’t break any laws. At the end of the day, the ad is tastefully done, and I give credit to Out for having the courage to publish it.