Monthly Archives: August 2010

Avis Announces GLBT Discount

Avis recently announced the company has entered into a three-year partnership with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association that provides gay travelers with discounted car rentals.   “Avis leads the industry in its commitment to the gay and lesbian community,” says IGLTA President & CEO John Tanzella. “We encourage all travelers to use the discount booking code to get the best rates and reciprocate Avis’s show of support.”

The Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number B450300 provides savings of up to 25 percent on global rentals.  Avis is currently the only car rental company to hold a top-tier partnership in IGLTA, the leading global organization dedicated to connecting businesses in the LGBT tourism industry.

Avis has long supported the GLBT community as evidenced by the print ad above.  The company has also sponsored gay film festivals across the U.S. and donates regularly to GLAAD.  Additional details of this offer can be found at www.avis.com/iglta.  IGLTA member travel agents will receive commissions when using the Avis discount code.

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Gay Travelers Opt For “Private” Resorts

An article from Passport Magazine reports on an interesting trend in the gay travel industry – many GLBT travelers are foregoing cookie-cutter gay-friendly resorts and opting instead to rent private homes with large groups of friends in exotic locales.

From the article:  “Once upon a time, the only avenues for LGBT travelers to experience a sense of complete freedom on holiday centered around gay-specific cruises, resorts, hotels, or circuit parties, but nowadays that paradigm is shifting as a result of the burgeoning vacation rental market, which now offers a viable alternative for travelers who crave more intimate, bespoke escapes tailored to their specific interests and needs. Many are finally making the connection that renting a private home, villa, or apartment can be a more satisfying way to experience a destination while living like a local.”

Renting a private residence also allows GLBT travelers to avoid nightmare experiences at “gay-friendly” resorts like this.

GLAAD Announces Nominees For Media Awards In Advertising

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced today the nominees and honorees for the 2nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising Presented by Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, and Rokk Vodka.

Among the nominees are:  Absolut Vodka’s “Exceptional Moments: The Absolut RuPaul” commercials, Levi Strauss & Co.’s “Gay History Month/Logo Leaders” campaign, Progressive Insurance’s “Works in Progress” ads, Wells Fargo’s “Advocate Money Minute,” and Givenchy’s “Fall 2010” campaign featuring openly transgender model Lea T.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be featuring some of the nominees on OGM leading up to the ceremony on September 29, but if you can’t wait that long, a complete list of nominated ads is included below and can also be found at http://www.glaad.org/advertisingawards/nominees.

Out NYC Resort Set To Open, G Worldwide Secures Land

Ian Simpson Reisner of Parkview Developers has announced plans to open a $30 million, 90,000-square-foot hotel-bar-wedding venue on the west end of 42nd Street in New York City aimed at gay patrons.  The complex, called Out NYC Urban Resort, will have restaurants, bars, a spa, a reception hall, retail stores and a huge seven-nights-a-week dance club, along with a 127-room hotel.

The hotel will be a part of the Axel boutique hotel chain, which caters specifically to gay travelers.  A night’s stay at the Axel Hotel Barcelona was all the impetus Reisner needed to look into opening a branch in New York City.

“I called them up and said, ‘We have to bring this to New York,’ ” Reisner, a managing partner of Parkview Developers said of the Axel’s owners. “They said, ‘Find a location and we’ll talk.’ ”  Reisner found the location, and the complex is now set to open in stages starting in early 2011.

The Out NYC announcement follows one earlier this year by G Worldwide, the “first ever luxury resort brand catering to the LGBT community and their friends, families, and supporters.”   The company revealed plans to open 4 resorts across the U.S., with an $80 million, 700,000-square-foot complex in Wilton Manor’s, Florida set to be the first to break ground.  After running into issues with the first site G Worldwide targeted, the company has secured 4 acres at the site of the First Church of Religious Science.

Gay Advertisement #13: Port 10 Launches Campaign Targeted To “Gay Men, Students, & Arts Lovers”

Port 10, a 13-story apartment building in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, has launched a new ad campaign targeted to three demographic groups who might be attracted to this enclave: gay men, students and arts lovers.  What differentiates Port 10 from other buildings in Chelsea, according to an article from the New York Times, is the imagery featured in the campaign. The ads, developed by the agency Tag Creative, Posters, signs, postcards, brochures and photographs on the building’s website present two modish men, holding hands, under the words “Bye Mom and Dad.”

It is difficult to declare definitively that the campaign, with a budget estimated at more than $400,000, is a first for the real estate industry in New York, or in the country as a whole, but it’s certainly unusual.  While we commonly see gay-inclusive ads from advertisers that rent rooms by the night (hotels and resorts), it’s not often that we see gay-targeted ads from those who rent rooms by the month (apartment buildings).

RDCA Karate Denounces Ads, Agency Apologizes

RDCA Karate, the company represented by these blatantly anti-gay ads, has denounced the ads, saying: “We want you to know that we don’t condone this action and we are taking steps to make sure something like this never happens again. I apologize to you and anyone else that may have thought we knowingly allowed these ads to leave the agency. These ads were never produced nor would they have seen the light of day had they come across my desk. The creator of these ads is very apologetic and never intended to offend anyone however, we as the owners, understand that they can be considered offensive and would not under any circumstances have ever let them ever be produced.”

In an interview with Waymon Hudson, Joe Zubizarreta, COO of Zubi – the agency behind the ads – also apologized by saying:  “The ads in question were posted by an individual that works at our agency on a site that creatives use to share ideas and get comments from others in their line of work. The art director who developed them told me that he had posted this campaign as well as three others to get feedback from other creatives as to their opinions of the work. We want you to know that we don’t condone this action and we are taking steps to make sure something like this never happens again. I apologize to you and anyone else that may have thought we knowingly allowed these ads to leave the agency. These ads were never produced nor would they have seen the light of day had they come across my desk.

The creator of these ads is very apologetic and never intended to offend anyone however, we as the owners, understand that they can be considered offensive and would not under any circumstances have ever let them ever be produced. Zubi Advertising embraces and celebrates all religions, lifestyles and ethnicities as part of our “Erase Stereotypes” philosophy.”

Honest mistakes happen, but the ads in question should never have been created in the first place.  At least Zubi has acknowledged its mistake and taken full responsibility for the gaffe.  My apologies to RDCA Karate, who unfortunately will suffer the most by their agency’s extremely poor judgment.

In India, GLBT Business Is Booming

A few months ago, I posted a story about India’s burgeoning gay tourism industry, which has grown rapidly since the nation’s high court decriminalized homosexuality last year.  From nightclubs to publications, savvy entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this niche marketing opportunity in a big way.

Since July alone, over 15 bars in New Delhi have hosted gay events, up from a rate of just one event at one bar per week two years ago.  India’s first gay-products store, Azaad Bazaar in Mumbai, has seen a year of growth, penetrating mainstream stores across the country with its merchandise.  Queer-Ink.com, India’s first gay online bookshop, is exploring publishing titles in the next 6 to 8 months.

Even India’s out gay Prince Manvendra Signh Gohil, is getting in on the action by launching two new GLBT-oriented magazines.  Fantasy, a publication targeted to lesbians, launched in July.  Soon Fun, a magazine intended for gay men and straight women, will debut with a mix of “fashion, fitness, gizmos and relationships.”

There are no studies on the size of India’s gay economy, but the country’s GLBT market potential is evident, given that the nation is estimated to have a gay population of over 70 million.