Brandweek Prints Dozen Letters Criticizing Anti-Male Advertising

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 editor Todd Wasserman discussed the problem of ‘Dad as Idiot’
advertising in his recent 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”. Today the editor of Brandweek wrote that Wasserman’s column “drew a very heavy outpouring of letters, nearly all in agreement,” and the magazine reprinted a dozen of them in its letters section. Lori Clayton of South Fulton, Tennessee wrote: “As a mom, we agree with you. Fathers should have rights too. I am a mother, a wife , a daughter and a grandmother. And I have seen the way men are being treated these days; makes me sick to know that men are being treated so horribly. Step back a moment, and just think: how would you feel if this was your Dad, your brother or your son or grandson?” Akshaya Patel of Marlboro, New Jersey wrote a letter titled “Ads Do Impact the Very Young”: “I enjoyed reading your article about the negative portrayal of men in the media. I am a father of a 5-year-old boy and I can tell you that advertising impacts his perception of the world much more profoundly than adults may realize. “Last year I severed my relationship with Fidelity Investment because I was appalled at the way they portrayed men in their advertising. I became politically aware during the years of anti-apartheid divestment and it has stuck with me. “My son has learned to use Tivo and he skips through the advertising these days so I suppose this may become a nonissue in my home. Nonetheless the corporate community speaks to the masses through advertising and they have to maintain a gender neutral balance in their message.” Eric Tarkington of Atlanta, Georgia wrote: “Critics who say ‘enough dumping on dad already!’ are not alone–far from it, if anybody has a bizarre attitude about this, it’s the disconnected ad man sector, not the growing annoyed sector of the public. I have some sympathy for ad writers. You need the good feelings from a gag to become associated with your product or service. Somebody is always the butt of any joke, and political correctness says you won’t make it a her. Besides, you don’t have to be careful dumping on dad in this society. Or do you? People are getting annoyed, and your customers probably shouldn’t look bizarre to you…” To read all the letters, click here. Brandweek Magazine’s letters section can be reached at

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