Anti-Male Advertising: Our Readers Make an Impact Again-this Time in the Washington Times

Washington–Background: We’ve done several protests against ads which portray men and fathers as clowns–see Campaign Against Anti-Father Verizon Commercial, Campaign Against Anti-Male Advertising, Campaign Against Detroit News ‘Get Her a Gift or She”ll Give You a Black Eye” Ad and Portable On Demand Storage Decides to Remove Anti-Male Ad in Face of Protests. To learn more about the problems with the way men are portrayed in advertising, click here. Brandweek Magazine is a weekly marketing trade publication, one of the largest in the advertising world. Brandweek editor Todd Wasserman discussed the problem of ‘Dad as Idiot’ advertising in his column The Surviving Dads Of Ads (Brandweek Magazine, 11/12/07), writing, “It”s hard to argue that guys like Sacks don”t have a point”. He discussed several of the anti-male ads we cover on this blog, as well as some of our campaigns against anti-male advertising. After the article I came out, I suggested that readers share their views with Brandweek.
Our readers flooded the magazine with letters, 12 of which were printed–to read some of them and learn more, see my blog post Brandweek Prints Dozen Letters Criticizing Anti-Male Advertising. This week the Washington Times published an article on the subject of father-bashing in TV advertising. The Times wrote: “Todd Wasserman knew he had touched a nerve when he saw the enormous number of responses from readers. “As editor of Brandweek, a New York-based magazine that covers the nation’s marketing industry, Mr. Wasserman penned a column in November bemoaning the treatment of fathers in advertising. “The dad-as-buffoon and the anti-father imagery seemingly permeated advertising and marketing campaigns, which continually use stereotypes about men to get cheap laughs, he observed. And they are increasingly the norm. “The letters poured in. “‘I don’t think we ever got so much reaction,’ said Mr. Wasserman, the father of a 5-month-old. ‘That fathers are often the butt of ads and accepted as idiots, that was just commonly accepted. But for me, it just seems like a stale target, a safe target for someone trying to get an easy laugh in an ad. The more people I talked to, the more it seemed a lot of people felt that way.'” To write a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Times about Father figures (1/31/08), click here.

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