International Gay News Agency
Increasingly, major advertisers are trying
to woo an attractive segment ofthe consumer population—the white, single, well-
educated, well-paid homosexual.
According to Karen Stabiner of The
New Yorji Times, these advertisers are
using two distant approaches, one
through ads in identifiably gay-oriented
publications, and the other through "gay
window" ads in the general media, the latter meaning ads that are subtly pitched to
Those who make their living seeking
recognition and acceptance for gays
regard economic in-runs as the first step
toward social integration, and cite the
parallel assimilation of middle-class
blacks and single working women.
Others, mindful of black unemployment
and women's uphill fight for the ERA, are
more skeptical, because profit, not integration, is the goal.
Advertisers are trying to interest potential customers who are gay without at the
same time losing customers who do not
wish to be identified with a "gay product."
The main approach at present is to
speak to the homosexual customer in a
way that the non-gay consumer won't
Calvin Klein's jeans ads are often mentioned as examples of mainstream messages aimed at gay men. One billboad for
men's jeans featured a young, shirtless
blond man lying on his stomach. Another
showed a young, shirtless blond man
lying on his side.
"You have to be comatose not to realize
that it appeals to gay men," says Peter
Frisch, publisher of The Advocate, a
national gay tabloid.
Paco Tabanne men's cologne, Pour
Homme, is another product that comes up
in discussions of "gay window" ads, primarily because of a magazine ad that
showed a man lying in a rumpled bed talking on the telephone to someone the dialogue portrayed as a just-departed male
Both C. Michael Newbrand, the account
executive, and the creative director of the
advertising account at Ogilvy and
Mather, an advertising agency, deny any
conscious effort to reach a gay market. But
Newbrand knows that "prestige fragrances" sell best in urban areas. He is also
aware that "gays represent a good
"If we have a high percentage of gays
using the product," says Newbrand, "we
certainly don't mind."
Gay people have mixed opinions about
being wooed by Madison Avenue. Stuart
Byron, a former New York Village Voice
film columnist, believes that what may
seem to be an attrative image is merely
another incomplete stereotype that will in
the end do more damage that good.
For all the talk of economic overtures to
the gay market, advertisers have not yet
constructed anything vaguely similar to
the ads that show single women, blacks, or
ethnic characters selling everything from
Italian food to cameras.
No television commercial has shown
two childless, attractive men as they
brush their teeth side by side at double
sinks or discuss the aroma of their morning coffee.
The homosexual still remains a highly
invisible minority in national advertising
Most providers of goods and services still
choose to deny their interest in the market
or evade the issue altogether.
2011 S.W. Fwy.
Half block east of Shepherd on
Open 10am-7pm daily
(Noon to 6pm Sunday)
Good selection of fresh and
saltwater fish & exotic birds
Under new management
Stop by and say hello
o _^5s^~, o
June 18, 1982/Montrose Voice 9
11:30 AM to 2 00 AM
Wine Bar and Restaurant
Three Blocks west of the Tower
Perfect for after the theatre...