“The way the advertising industry portrays men has drawn increasing scrutiny in both the trade press and the mainstream media. Defenders of the status quo — in which men are depicted as irresponsible fathers and lazy, foolish husbands — are starting to feel outnumbered. It’s an understandable feeling…
“The evidence is clear: ‘Man as idiot’ isn’t going over very well these days.”
Los Angeles, CA-My new column, Advertisers: Men Are Not Idiots (Advertising Age, 4/14/08), co-authored with Richard Smaglick of www.fathersandhusbands.org, appeared today in Advertising Age, one of the largest advertising industry publications. To write a Letter to the Editor, click on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The piece is part of Advertising Age’s “CMO Strategy” section–a section directed towards marketing and advertising executives [Chief Marketing Officers]. Our column there is an opportunity to, as they say, “Speak truth to power.”
In the column, we gave three specific suggestions for the advertising industry:
“Create more ads that are father-positive. Some recent examples include AT&T’s touching father-daughter ad ‘Monkey’; First Choice Holidays’ ‘Slow-Motion Hugs’; and Ford’s father-son ad ‘We Know.’
“As we consider whether it’s wise to make men the butt of every joke, we should also consider the joke itself. Many see the 1960s as the golden age of advertising. Those who crafted the ads of that era created work of superb quality, seldom if ever resorting to the contempt, shame and aggressive ridicule of today’s ads.
“When an ad does need to poke fun at somebody, stop automatically defaulting to men as fools.”