Media Watch - 2001

Menstuff® reports on what the press and/or some corporations are saying about men. This information is available in several ways. Mediawatch reviews the media's portrayal of men in advertising directed to or about men during 2001 and 2002. Often a click on the photo will present a larger picture. This page is basically a script format that includes comments that may not have images attached for 2001. See also 2002. Newsbytes are made up of stories and articles regarding men for 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999.

After reviewing some of these topics, we encourage you to write the corporations and the government and give them your viewpoint. Change doesn't usually take place when only one complaint is received. If you want to be part of the solution, let them hear from you! Here's how.

Increase Your Awareness
He's Your Little Brother
Reflections on Men
Pleasures for Men
Take Time to Enjoy Life
Blaze Seems to Set Fires
Got Questions? Got Answers?
Be Vocal. Say No Way!
Kids Grow Up Fast These Days
Are You Man Enough?
Heroin: Dying's the Easy Part
The New Look of Feminism
Sex. Are You Thinking About it Enough?
One Way Ticket
More Messages Directed to Pubescent Girls
Tobacco Is Whacko if You're a Teen
Suffer the Consequences
Real Friends, Real Bourbon, Real Drunk
Martex Sheets and Towels
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Fashion and AIDS
Asking Saves Kids
It Doesn't Mean You Have to Have Sex
Men in Skirts
Psychiatry Committing Fraud
Be Productive, Not Reproductive
Get Caught Reading
Jim Beam's On Track Mind
Should Executions be Televised?
The Ultimate Guy & Chick Cars of All Time
What if Cigarette Ads Told the Truth?
The Sins of the Fathers
What You Need to Know About Meningitis
The Most Dangerous Job in America
Hidden Classic - Behind the Veil
Women's Top 8 Sexual Fantasies
Sex and the City Takes Off
Alternative Routes
Fine Selection of All Sorts
Over Exposed
The Lives of Men
Abstinence Sucks
Take the Sex S.A.T.
Men's Health Total Body
The Queen Who Would be King
Love It Shove It
Sex Should Last 30 Minutes
Super Kids
Global Warming
Seven Secrets to a Killer Body Image
A Wholesome Poison
Naked Truth
Booze, Babes and Beef, USA
My Cancer Story
Foreign Bodies
The Code
How to Raise Healthy Children
How Many People have We Slept With?
6 Critical Symptoms Patients Ignore
Seven Ways to Lengthen Your Life
Letter from Pirson
Slut Interrupted
How do Dads Stack Up in Your Newspaper?
Dads in the Delivery Room
Man of the House Redefined
The Daddy Bond
Daddy Love
Kids Hurting Kids: Bullets in the Schoolyard
Boy Du Jour
Stop Dinner Party Bores
What NY Couples Fight About
Evil: What Makes People Go Wrong?
The Big Tease
Life in the Gay Area
Unmarried with Children
Rule the Office
Pros & Cons of Pot
Summer 01 MH-18 has Three Covers
You Big Smoothie
The Bathroom Tapes
Euthanasia-Dying with Dignity
Special Issue on Fatherhood
Lawyers on Love
The Nightmare Drug
Psycho Therapists
Look Who's Stalking
'My Wife Left Me for a Woman'
'Can I Enjoy Sex?'
Dating Rich Women
Body Bagging
When Coworkers Attack
Avoiding the Jack
CMovie Ratings for Kids
DSickening New Wave of TV Commercials Show Men Betraying Their Buddies for Nuggets, Booze and Women:

DDouble Covers of Gear Magazine

DNike Slams the Disabled

CDVive Cuervo
DNorelco Promotes More Violence
DNoreclo Promotes Violence
MA Call for a Boycott of All Simon & Schuster Products
BPleasures for Men are truly pleasures.
MDropping Bombs on Your Moms
D Find Your Voice - Virginia Slims
C It's How You Say It - Brut
D General Motors Plays to Women and Ignores Men in Men's Magazines
DWord has it that Brad Pitt will be the first centerfold for the new teen edition of CosmoGirl...
DDawson's Creek: a senior high school girl openly and persistently tries to seduce a junior high boy to have sex - guess who wouldn't be charged as the rapist?...
DReal Men. Real allure. A new men's fragrance from Chanel. Right...
CCanon joins with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to stop child abductions...
DStay Clear of Stay Clear
DWal-Mart Refuses Couples Contraception
DSeventeen Pushes Sex
DWinton's "No Bull" Campaign
CMars Makes Promises
CHennessy can relate & AOL - Demonstrate Corporate Sanctioned Animal Abuse
DDDSony - Most Degrading Portrayal of Men in 1998
CCalvin Kline - Positive view regarding "Looksism"
D"No Fear" clothing line
DDenny's Restaurants - Opposes "Male-Bonding"
DPizza Hut - Follows Denny's Example
DWalt Disney - Promotes "No Fear" in Their Retail Stores
DCCrayola - Denigrates Native Americans - 7/27/99 update.
CThere's always a first time


Bud Lite Shows Man Buying Next Round while Comet Destroys In-laws

Man is at a bar drinking with his buddies. He stands up and says he has to go to meet his new in-laws at the restaurant across the street, unless a comet hits it first. His wish is granted and he immediately sits down and says, "Guess it's my round." It's supposed to be funny. I guess it might be to those men who don't see the insidiousness in this. His girl-friend and in-laws just get blown away. How convenient. It is the extreme "Commitment Phobic".Probably the guys at the ad agency and client really relate to this guy. I feel sorry for anyone who is in or every plans to be in relationship with these guys.

Motorola Cell Phone Recommends Leaving Your Friend to Die

Male skier is knocked out in the woods. Another guy skis up to him to help. The injured man's cell phone rings. It's his girl friend inviting him to hot tub with her friends. The rescuer puts the phone back on the guys chest and leaves him unconscious. Seems like Motorola and their advertising agency are the real unconscious ones. Christopher B Galvin, CEO, Motorola Inc, 1303 E Algonquin Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60196 847.576.5000 and Edward Breen, President, Motorola Broadband Communications Sector, 101 Tournament Dr, Horsham, PA 19044 215.323.1000. Advertising Agency: McCann Erickson, 750 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017 212.697.6000

Smirnoff Ice Sacrifices Buddy and says "Cool"

Two friends come upon a grizzly in the wilderness. Both are frightened. The announcer says, Drink responsibly. So, one of the men picks up a container of honey, entices the bear, then pores it all over his friend as the bear chases the friend into the woods. The instigator returns to a cooler of Smirnoff Ice, starts drinking with two women, one of whom says, "Didn't you have a friend?' He says "Yes." at which time a bear growls in the background and scene goes to empty bottle of Smirnoff Ice slammed down in front of full bottles as he says "Cool." He basically sets up his friend to be killed so he can have all the Smirnoff Ice and/or the two women? That's taking responsibility? You figure out the message and let us know. We originally had Charles Phillips, CEO & President, UDV-North America, 430 Park Ave, West Hartford, CT 06110 860.570.4800 However, we have been told that the correct contact is Paul Clinton, Pres & CEO UDVNA, 6 Landmark Square, Stamford CT 06892. The information also said that the ad was developed in England and thought to be funny not philosophical. We don't find men betraying men to be funny here. (3/00)

Wendy's Values Nuggets over Friends Life

Another Grizzly gets hungry and meets two friends. Both have some Wendy's Nuggets. One friend says to the other something like "He's closer to you, you can take him" and takes the Nuggets away from him and pushes him forward. The friend says okay, and sheepishly goes towards the bear. Sound of bear attacking. Man who remains on screen flinches as he eats a Nuggets. What is it with male friends sacrificing the buddies to bears. I fail to find any humor in it. In fact, I find them disgusting! R. David Thomas, Founder, Wendy's International, Inc., PO Box 256, Dublin, OH 43017-0256 Advertising Agency: Gary Steele, Exec VP Acct Supvr, Bates USA, 498 Seventh Aven, New York, NY 10018 212.297.7000

Watch Out When Buying Gear

We got caught again. Gear is a pretty good men's magazine. However, their marketing tactics suck. Once again the April, 01 issue has two very different covers. So, if you buy the issue early in the month and return later to see a different cover, you, like us, might spend another $3.50 ($5.50 in Canada) for the same thing. Bob Guccione, Jr. is Editor-in-Chief, Gear, 450 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011 212.771.7000, editorial fax to 212.627.3168 or We did hear back from Bob.

We did hear back from Bob (4/2/2001 2:03:59 PM)

Dear Gordon

Whoa, no one is conning anyone!!!! A lot of magazines do multiple covers and we only have one distribution cycle. The coverlines and immediate use the same, and this is certainly the first time we've heard someone may be fooled into buying it twice.

Thanks for saying we have a really good magazine -- Im proud of it, although even I dont think it's so good people should buy the same issue more than once!

All the best,

Bob Guccione Jr

Nike Says "We're Sorry" (12/00)

It happened. Nike not only pulled the ad, but they issued an apology. Says Kirk Stewart, VP Communications, Nike Inc. "We at Nike have always attempted to excite, inspire, and, yes, even provoke people through our advertising. In doing so it is crucial that we recognize and define certain limits of acceptability. Recently an ad ran promoting the Nike Air Dri-Goat trail-running shoe. That ad never should have been approved, much less written. Every Nike employee is personally embarrassed by this ad, because it runs counter to who we are as a company. At Nike we believe: 'If you have a body, you are an athlete.' We offer a sincere apology to anyone who was offended by that ad." (See ad in box below and copy from the ad.)

Nike Slams the Disabled (11/00)

The Nike web site claims "At Nike, we're thinking about the big idea behind diversity. How it's based on teamwork and what we can do together instead of apart. We're moving beyond how most people view diversity by not focusing on what makes us different. But on what makes us better. So, what's up with this Nike two-page ad for their Air Dri-Goat athletic shoes. "How can a trail running me avoid compressing my spinal cord into a Slinky on the side of some unsuspecting conifer, thereby rendering me a drooling, misshapen non-extreme-trail-running husk of my former self, forced to roam the earth in a motorized wheelchair with my name, embossed on one of those cute little license plates you get at carnivals or state fairs, fastened to the back?" Shame on you, Nike!

Nike USA Consumer Affairs is 800-344-6453, M-F 6am-5:50pm PST. At times they experience very high call volumes, probably after an ad like the above runs. Their mailing address is: Nike, Inc., Consumer Affairs, One Bowerman Drive, Beaverton, OR 97005-6453.

Vive Cuervo (10/16/00)

We have given this ad a thumbs up for getting the point "All work and no play is totally missing the point." And, a thumbs down because it suggests the need for alcohol to play. Hopefully, the play message gets through without the need for alcohol.

Norelco Promotes More Violence (10/15/00)

Norelco adds to their TV commercial mix. Male spectators are given the new Norelcom to test. After the test, back at the game, a woman walks by a fan and feels his face as she walks by. His girl friend gets angry and whops him with a bataka bat. or write the Advertising Department, Norelco Consumer Products Company, 1010 Washington Blvd, Stamford, CT 06912-0015. This is what we wrote:

This is to register a complaint about several of your television commercials. The man dropping the mascot with his brief case and the one in the football stands where the girl friend doesn't like another woman touching his face and whollaps him with a bat. What kind of customer reaction do you think you would get if I you were to reverse these scenarios for your women's razor line? While it has long been accepted that violence against men is humorous and violence by women to men is accepted, it is still violence. And, it isn't funny to many of us and it does no good in reducing violence that is perpetrated against men by women that often ends up with men becoming violent back and going to prison for it. Our sons and daughters get numb to this, as we have, but it still gets ingrained in the system. Please don't be a party to this.

I would like a response, if at all possible. Thanks for listening.

Gordon Clay

Norelco Promotes Violence (9/17/00)

Norelco television commercial - guy doesn't like what mascot says. Guy knocks mascot to the ground with a round house with his briefcase and walks away smiling.

BPleasures for Men are truly pleasures (4/00)

This Bloomingdale's ad for Lauder's Pleasures for Men appeared in the April issue of Talk magazine.All the elements to make a happy father. Yes, the wife is quietly behind the camera letting father and son have this moment before having to go back and finish painting that lloonngg picket fence. Oh for more moments like this. Thanks for tugging at this father's heart, Bloomingdale's.

MDropping Bombs on Your Moms

Sony's done it again - That's the headline for their new Playstation 2 being promoted to the teen market. (If you remember Christmas of 1998 they were after dads with the headline "If he's at home, he can't cheat on you.") This new two-page add goes on to say: "Just like the stealth bomber; shiny, black, deadly and able to rain hellfire on your ass." That's good. Just what I want to pay $400 for (price in Japan, price in U.S. not determined yet for fall, 2000 introduction.)

Find Your Voice - Virginia Slims

A recent ad in McCall's says "Dance around naked with a rose between your teeth if you want...but do it like you mean it. Virginia Slims. Find Your Voice." With or without a tracheotomy, I guess. Also, it is curious why the two "o"s in "Find Your Voice" are underlined. To simulate blowing smoke rings? What do you think?

It's How You Say It - Brut

Well, it's not delicate, but we like the sentiment. A recent ad for Brut Antiperspirant in Rolling Stone got right to the point. "Makes armpit farts smell great." And, the subhead read "Inside every man is a guy."  Too bad the product smells.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. General Motors Plays to Women & Ignores Men in Men's Magazines

September 20-24 is National Prostate Cancer Awareness week, the only 5 days out of the year that there is any focused attention to make men and the people who love them aware that 41,000 of them will die this year from prostate cancer, primarily because they didn't catch it soon enough. (About the same number of women surcome to breast cancer, considerably more men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year than women with breast cancer.) There's tons of information out there talking about breast cancer, how to do a self-exam and recommending an annual pap smear test, which is usually covered by most medical plans. However, men can't really do a self exam without a doctor. So, our time and money is spent trying to convince men at risk (which includes all men over 35) to get over the embarrassment of having a finger inserted up their anus and get an annual digital rectal examination (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

So, imagine my surprise when I opened the September, 1999 "Why We Love Football" special issue of GQ (which used to stand for Gentleman's Quarterly) to find a six-page 4-color insert from Genereal Motors advertising a sweepstakes that raises funds for breast cancer. If you're really into football and prefer to learn about women's health versus your own, you'll love the copy (the bold is ours.). "On the cover (1), Nadja in a silver liquid satin dress from Dana Buchman Luze Collection. This page (2), Ling in gold, burning paper, sequin dress by Vivienne Tam." It goes on to say, "In it's third year, GM and the Council of Fashion Designers of America have teamed up to fight breast cancer through Concept: Cure. This unique and creative collaboration pairs GM vehicles with top fashion designers for "makeovers."  Designed to be one-of-a-kind vehicles, they're the ultimate in luxury and style. The designers donate their time and talents to create these vehicles for the Concept: Cure sweepstakes. By entering this national sweepstakes and making a pledge, you can join them in the fight against breast cancer - and maybe win one of their vehicles!  To date, Concept: Cure has raised more than $2.6 million to benefit such breast cancer research and awareness organizations as the Nina Hyde Cancer Center at Georgetown University's Lombardi Cancer Center. Every woman is at risk for breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) urges you to take an active role in your health, and learn as much as you can about the science of breast cancer. According to the NBCC: (1) One out of eighty women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime and (2) Breast cancer is the most common from of cancer in American women. To give yourself a fighting chance against breast cancer, the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) recommends:  (1)  Yearly breast examinations by a doctor or nurse. (2). Annual screening mammogram beginning at age 40. (3)  Learning how your breasts normally feel and examining them regularly." Five pages (2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 above) follow describing the car designers, the special cars, and how to "make a pledge" and enter a sweepstakes.

And, the saga continues. Further back in the publication, Saks Fifth Avenue has a full page four-color ad that they didn't put their name on. The headline reads "Fashion Targets Breast Cancer September 23-26" (though October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Saks' Laurie Rode's said it made a nice lead-in). The ad gives an 888 number where Saks tells you that all 59 stores will donate 2% of their sales during this time, plus sell you a long sleeve t-shirt. Also, if you give them your home phone number (hopefully that's not a ploy to use it in their other marketing activities without your knowledge), they'll tell you which regional charities will receive these funds.

Because women's cancer organizations, even the American Cancer Society, are so organized, and carry so much clout, they got American Express, Continental Airlines, Walmart and the New York Times involved. Saks' Laurie Rodes said that they did it during this week because it was the only time during the year that the fashion designers were available. She also said they weren't aware of the conflict with the 11th annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, but that even in the future, they would probably make the decision to do it then rather than not to do it at all.

You might think that was all. You hope, maybe they would do a story in their football issue during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week about someone like Superbowl winning quarterback Joe Montana. According to a film he was in on prostate cancer, if his wife hadn't persisted in making him get an exam when he did, he would probably have died shortly thereafter. But, alas, no such story. Instead, GQ gives ten pages of editorial support to their advertisers and do a story about Chris Spielman, of whom the Buffalo Bill's owner called the most intense player they've had in thirty-seven years. The majority of the story is about his helping his wife through cancer (an admirable thing, don't get us wrong) and toughing it out without anyone really knowing. That's what we men do about our own illnesses and weaknesses and GQ didn't go there to encourage men to overcome their egos around having a prostate cancer exam before it's too late. They, too, probably weren't aware that this was Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. Another missed opportunity. Then again, maybe they were afraid to go to that vulnerable place that most of us will have to go to sometime before we die. Hopefully, in time.

Research funding is substantially in favor of breast cancer and continues to be the recipient of more grants, income from the US Postal Service stamp program, and now special cars designed at GM. In 1997, about $2,700 was spent on prostate cancer research for every death from the disease, while spending for breast cancer was five times that amount or $12,800 per death. Investment in AIDS research totaled $47,000 per death. The scarcity of funding for prostate cancer research creates a vicious cycle. Young and established researchers are drawn to more profitable avenues of investigation; private enterprise views the field as too risky for investment; and ideas that might lead to a cure are conceived but never completed. Source: CapCure (

Now, don't get us wrong. We support spending even more on breast cancer awareness and research. That's not the point. The point is that significantly more men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, even without the huge awareness campaigns. And, self exams aren't a viable option. So, if we don't get a doctor's help, our survival chances diminish when early detection isn't achieved. And many health plans don't pay for these exams. And no laws requiring them to do so.

On the other hand, there are federal laws requiring all health plans that cover mastectomies to provide breast cancer reconstruction for mastectomy patients. including coverage of prosthetic devices and reconstruction for restoring symmetry. A federal law, mind you. It's called the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (H.R. 4328). Alas, no such concern for men. Under many health plans, the simple DRE or PSA blood test must be paid for out of the man's pocket. (For questions or concerns about the law, contact the Department of Labor's hotline at 202.219.8776.)

Pleading ignorance or not, I think GM is "out-of-bounds" with this program and should reconsider it's timing (during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week) and it's direction (to men in men's magazines). I think that GM is doing a disservice to men who, over the years, built their market for them. The fact than somewhere around 300 men die each year from breast cancer not withstanding (none of the promotion or editorial talked about this to the GQ audience), this seems like it's motivation might have come from a direction that doesn't have anything to do with their concern with women's health.

If you want to let GM know what you think about the timing and direction of this program and the lack of any support for men around prostate cancer, here are some places to start: John F. Smith, Jr, Chm Bd, Pres & CEO (313.556.5000-it's better to send him a letter, but chances he'll never see it), Matt Pensinger, Adv & Corp Mktg (313.667.2722) General Motors Corporation, General Motors Bldg, 3044 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202 or you might check their website at Unfortunately, there are no women VPs listed in the Standard Directory of Advertisers. Of the 30 executives listed, the first woman to show up, Luana Floccuzio (Dir-Adv of NAO), is in the 26th slot and is followed by Elizabeth C. Lazar (Dir - Media Operations) and Nancy M. Kaza (Mgr Adv Resources NAO). The only women "executives" listed. And, the only GM advertising agency run by a woman is N. W. Ayer Detroit (2000 Fisher Bldg, Detroit, MI 48202 313.874.8500), the agency for GM Brand Advertising. Their president is Dannielle Colliver.  Coincidence?  I think not. Then there's Saks Fifth Avenue, the company to schedule their Breast Cancer sales event for profit (only 2% of sales goes to the charities) the same week as the Prostate Cancer week. Bryan E. Kendrick is their Vice-Chairman, and Jackie Lividini, the VP of PR, at 212.753.4000. I talked with her assistant, Laurie Rhodes at 212.940.4246. All three are at 611 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022. Let us and them know what you think. And, be sure to check our "Today" section each day from September 20-24 for information about Prostate Cancer. You can also find information and resources here.

Is this totally unconscious on the part of the organizations putting this together. I hope so but I have a hard time believing this is a total coincidence. One thing that came up is that it seems those corporations that contribute the most money to women's organizations are the same ones that have the fewest women in upper management. Isn't that an interesting concept. "If we contribute alot of money to women's organizations, they won't dare push us to have women in upper management for fear of loosing the money." Interseting thought. Why else would GM have no women VPs? We would love to see someone write their graduate thesis around an investigation of this issue!

Real Men. Real allure.

A new men's fragrance from Chanel. Right...


Canon joins with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to stop child abductions...

 The headline reads:  I'm 6 years old. Female. With brown hair. 4 feet tall. Wearing a red dress. The subhead reads:  And I'm one of over 2,200 children that will be reported missing today. The copy reads:  Just imagine how mcuh easier it would be to find her if law enforcement actually had a current picture. The fact is, 1 out of every 7 missing children are found because someone saw their picture. That's why the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Canon are asking you to keep updated photos of your children. And to look at pictures of missing children carefully. Because a picture is worth more than a brief description. Click on for more information. Picture them home.

Stay Clear of Stay Clear

While the magazine advertising for Procter & Gamble's new Stay Clear Clearasil product is fairly innocuous (1), their new television commercials demonstrate how deeply ingrained the attitude of "putting people down so that somehow I will feel better than you because I'm really trying to stick you with thoughts I have about myself that I don't want to take responsibility for" is, P&G has taken it to a new low. It just isn't the jocks and cheerleaders shaming the geeks and the geeks get their revenge (see Sticks & Stones). Now, a major corporation is playing on this "attitude" to sell this product to the teen/pre-teen market. In it, it looks like the sister loans her brother her Stay Clear with the line "You can use this, but you'll still be ugly." Like the No Fear clothing line encouraging young boys to deny their fear and end up doing dumb, dangerous, unnecessary things, P&G is encouraging put down attitudes, especially against teens that have acne problems. We lodged a complaint with P&Gs customer service department (800.981.1841) but haven't received a response. You might want to join forces to leave them with an impression that maybe there is more than one person out there who finds their advertising offensive. John E. Pepper is the CEO of the parent company Procter & Gamble, PO Box 599, Cincinnati, OH 45201-0599. 800.981.1841. The product is produced by Richardson-Vicks, Inc., Personal Care Products Division, same address, with Robert Wehling as VP-Marketing Services. The advertising agency that recommended this approach is DMB&B Company, Inc., 1675 Broadway, New York, NY 10019-5865 at 212.468.3622

The trend of strange continues in the facial care category with another product designed to fight acne - pHisoderm 4 way Daily Acne Cleanser (2) produced by Chattem, Inc. It uses the headline "It's better to use" and shows a young woman with a "Zit Be Gone" construction grade disk sander to remove the zits from her face. Has the advertising industry lost its ability to reach our youth creatively without violent or abusive images. Apparently so. Nelson Trottier is President of Chattem, Consumer Products Division, 1715 W 38th St, Chattanooga, TN 37409 at 800.366.6833 or 423.821.4571. Andrea Crouch is VP Marketing for Toiletries. WF of R, Inc, is the advertising agency at 411 Branchway Rd, Richmond, VA 23235. 804.794.2871.

1. 2.


Wal-Mart Refuses Couples Contraception

Wal-mart, which operates the second largest pharmacy chain in the country, is banning the stocking, ordering or dispensing of the emergency contraceptive PREVEN in their stores. PREVEN is an emergency contraception consisting of a combination of hormonal pills. If used 72 hours after unprotected sex it would reduce the need for surgical abortion. Researchers estimate PREVEN could prevent up to half of all unintended pregnancies. Wal-mart is thus denying couples - a majority of the 90 million customers a week - access to one of the more effective contraception drugs available. Send a message to Wal-mart, urging them to change their policy and begin stocking PREVEN. (It is a prescription drug and could be prescribed by a health clinic and in some counties, (i.e., Marin County, California), may be paid for by the county. Email to: or write to David D. Glass, President, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR 72716.

Seventeen Pushes Sex But Not Protection

Their covers often make sex titillating and suggestive to their pre-teen readers. (8/99:  Dating Two Guys:  Is it twice the fun? 4/99: The Secret Language of Guys: 50 clues he's crazy about you. A Guide to His Head, Heart and... Smooch!  How to read his lips. 1/99: Win this dress (a see-through sequin party dress shown with no slip. It can't help but show nipples-ed), Sex & body myths exposed. And it goes on.) Yet, when it comes to an advertisement that has condoms in it (Candies perfume), it gets the ax. Interesting that they push pre-teen and teen sex and shy away from informing their readers about smart precautions. Sort of like Wal-Mart refusing to offer Preven (a birth control method) for women with a doctor's prescription. Interesting position to take. Promote sex without prevention. How conscious is that?  

Winton's "No Bull" Campaign

The advertisement in Esquire magazine shows a woman, totally detached, at a bar, with a ring on the "married" finger, asking for a light. The man next to her obliges and appears to start talking. She says to us or the camera, "I wanted a light not his life story" with the "No Bull" stamp. And, I think the whole thing Is Bull! She didn't want to talk to "this" man and couldn't be honest about it. Just a thought. If you plan on going to a bar and sit at the bar just to drink and not converse, be responsible and either talk to the man, not the camera, or bring your own lighter!

Mars Makes Promises

Dove Chocolate Miniatures came up with a great idea - Promises. And, what a delicious way to make a promise. They come in dark and milk chocolate and the inside of each foil wrapper is a saying, better than fortune cookies. If you keep it down to one a day, it's amazing how inspirational they are. Here are just a couples of weeks worth of examples:  "The best ideas come after you think you've run out of them." "Whatever you give will find countless ways back to you." If you live in the present, every moment is a new beginning." "Time is a river without banks." "To accomplish great things one must not only act, but dream." "Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down." "Every cloud doesn't mean a storm." "Take time to laugh, it's the music of the soul." "Nothing is as strong as gentleness or as gentle as strength." "Wisdom has two parts:  1) having a lot to say, and 2) not saying it." "Trust is the most valuable thing you'll ever earn." "Friends love the person you were and the one you've become." "Climb high, climb far; your goal the sky, your aim the stars." "The reward for a good deed is to have done it." What a way to start the day - a little bit of chocolate and a great thought. How might you use these Promises?

Hennessy Can Relate.

"Lenny" shows a recent advertisement with a bust of a man and an overlay of a bar chart. From the top, the subjects, in order, are:  protector, musician, ex-boyfriend, shortstop, cynic, baby-sitter, manager, failed comedian, brother, procrastinator, thinker, friend. "Appropriately complex."  Sounds like a man to me. At least someone understands. 1/99. & AOL Demonstrate Corporate Sanctioned Animal Abuse

Two commercials in NFL football games today (12/27/98) show a suit as he sits in a leather executive chair wanting you to buy software from his company. To entice you, one television commercial shows a small cannon. He demonstrates how they put live gerbils in the cannon and fire them at the "o" in "" (I'm not sure which "o", but it really doesn't matter.) All attempts miss, as the gerbils slam against the billboard. Another commercial shows the same suit sitting in the same chair talking about asking the local high school band to perform on a football field. As the band starts to play, the suit says, and the TV shows, the release of "ravenous wolves" and we watch as the band scatters, a wolf attacks a band members in the leg and they fall. The suit comments "That's good stuff." It goes to a black screen with the comment "Send complaints to" and then the screen changes to and AOL keyword. Seems like a scam to get people to turn over their email addresses to this company, so a comment to AOL first might be a better route to see if something can happen.

Most Degrading Portrayal of Men by a Major Manufacturer in 1998

And the winner is.......Sony Playstation. The headline on their billboard reads, "If he's at home, he can't cheat on you." What were they thinking?  Who is their target market?  The guys who actually created this product?  The account group at the advertising agency?  They must really be confused. If I was married and saw this ad and received this gift from my wife, and wasn't creating on her, I'd feel a real sense of distrust from her. If I bought it for myself, she might really wonder what I was trying to hide. In any case, it basically says "All men cheat on their wives/lovers. Get him hooked on the Sony Playstation to keep an eye on him."  And finally, what woman wants her husband to spend more time in front of the television? I encourage you to let your local media know about this campaign and ask them to do a story before holiday gift purchasing is over. By the way, for those who think I'm too sensitive and need to lighten up a little, do you light up when you hear a slight twist on Playstation's ad "If she's at work, she can't cheat on you." or even "Keep her pregnant, then she can't cheat on you." Are you still laughing? Contact:  Shelley Ashitomi, Marketing Director, Sony Entertainment, 919 E Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, CA 94404, 650.655.8000. Both advertising agencies, McCann Erickson San Francisco and Lowe & Partners New York, say they do not handle Playstation and don't know who does.

Calvin Kline - Looksism.

We applaud this company for its use of ordinary people in its advertising for CK the cologne. They are combating the cultural belief that only a certain kind of people should be used to promote products.

No Fear line of clothing.

We believe that this is more than just a marketing campaign for a clothing line. It's an effort, knowingly or unknowingly, to desensitize children so that they can be manipulated into doing things against their inherent nature. Children who are encouraged not to feel all feelings develop into dysfunctional adults.

It all started at the major wrestling championship in Southern California. There were lots of "No-fear" T-shirts and caps around. The air-brusher was busy putting "No Fear" on the back of event T-shirts along with cartoon bulldogs with fangs and puffed out muscles and other such images. Many of the end users were thin, small muscled boys getting ready to "be tough". Well, I decided to have my own T-shirt designed and wear it at the event (No Fear, No Tears, Die Numb). I had a number of parents and young wrestlers thank me for reminding them about the value and importance of fear - how ignoring it or pushing it out of the way can create unnecessary dangers. How the great Samurai know fear and don't hide form it but bring it out in front, put it on the end of their sword, and cut with it. This design is an improvement on the original airbrushed design. From there, I designed a second one to change the emphasis from "No Fear" to "Know Fear". You can download the individual design for the back of a T-shirt or a whole sheet of smaller logos that you can printout, cut up into individual iron-ons to put on the front of a T-shirt where a breast pocket would go and give the others to friends to do the same.

Here's your chance to get involved by making your own T-shirt, then wear it and feel your own feelings. And, encourage others to feel theirs. When the opportunity presents itself, talk about the importance of feelings, especially fear. Remember the words of Hannah Arendt, "Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival." All feelings are good - fear, pain, sadness, joy and anger. It's the behaviors that we use to demonstrate the feelings that need to be looked out. For instance, anger is a feeling. Violence is not a feeling. It is a behavior. There are many other ways anger can be expressed that are healthy yet nonviolent. So, it is the behaviors we need to work with. Think about it! And, make your T-shirt today!

Denny’s Opposes "Male-Bonding"

A new television commercial called "Male Bonding" which promotes a new "temporary sandwich item" at Denny’s, has hit the airways. It’s a rather dated takeoff on an old Murphy Brown show from six or seven years ago making fun of men in their attempt to find ways to become more human.

Enter a sarcastic macho loner, who is obviously afraid to show any traits of what a real man is all about. He minimizes what they are doing and convinces them to stuff their feelings with food - the product being this Denny's 1/3 lb. burger (at $5.79 w/fries). After all, it’s a "manly meal".

I couldn’t figure out who Denny's target market was unless it was very insecure men. I thought the campaign was probably created by some homophobic men who, from their own insecurity about their manhood, were trying to regain it by putting down men who were actually working on themselves in an effort to find ways to become better men and be in healthy relationships with women. To my complete surprise, I was told by the people at Flagstar (the company that owns Denny's) that the head people in marketing and at the advertising agency responsible for the business are woman. No further comment.

If this type of advertising bothers you, let them know! If you call, you’ll be directed to Customer Service and told "your comments have been noted - thank-you." I suggest contacting them by writing: Jennifer Harmlin, Denny’s Corp, c/o Flagstar, 203 E Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29319 (864.597.8000) and Loretta Lurie, Lowe & Partners, 1114 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036 (212.403.6810). Don’t forget to cc: John Romandetti, Denny’s president and stop by every Denny’s, ask for the manager, and tell them why you’re not eating there. By the way, rumor has it that Denny’s is about to start a $100,000,000 remodeling program to put divider walls between the counter seats so these men will feel safe eating there. I haven’t been able to confirm this, to date, however. Using your expression, Denny's, "Can we unbond now?"

Pizza Hut Follows Denny's Example

Have aliens taken over the creation of television advertising, depicting what they observe in human behavior and replicating the behavior in television commercials? The latest, following on the tasteless Denny's advertising for "Manly Meals" (see Denny's Opposes "Male Bonding"), Pizza Hut has picked up the baton. They show a "typical American family" with the father having a heart-to-heart talk with his son, serious, eye-to-eye, basically telling him what you do in life says alot about you. We really support you. Son thanks dad, puts on his Domino's Pizza hat, and leaves for work. The minute the door shuts, the whole family runs for the front door where a Pizza Hut delivery "stud" stands with pizza. "Sorry to keep you waiting", says the daughter and they all chow down on soggy pizza. The son, having forgotten something, returns to catch his loving, supportive family in the middle of a big bite of his competitor's pizza The son looks shocked.

If you think it’s funny, Pizza Hut, and you really want to make a real statement. Change the Domino's delivery person to the daughter, supporting her to go out in the world on her own, to become someone. See how that would play in the market. This new commercial brings to mind the Playboy ad "What kind of man reads Playboy". What is your target market, Pizza Hut? Cruel, insincere, families, I surmise. If you're one of those people, buy Pizza Hut. If not, buy any other kind of pizza out there. I'm sure anyone else cares more about their family members than Pizza Hut seems to. What kind of families do these advertising executives come from or do these two advertising behemoths think that shame is the key to a man's stomach? Surely, there are more wholesome themes you could offer for a new product than what you have given us. I just don't get it. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and Pizza Hut is from Wichita, which seems to be in a totally different galaxy. Just remember, Pizza Hut, you may still be but we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Walt Disney Promotes "No Fear" in Their Retail Stores

Michael Eisner, Walt Disney Co, 500 S Buena Vista, Burbank, CA 91521, 818.560.1000

This is regarding your Team Mickey retail establishment in the Disneyland Hotel. In a retail establishment directed to children, I would expect products that are fun and, if they carry a message, that it is a healthy one.

Most of the product line fit the Disney image. The Disney characters. The team sportswear. However, most of your other clothing was supplied with the "No Fear" label and carried less than healthy messages. Just the "No Fear" message to adolescent boys encourages them to be tough, do stupid things, not acknowledge true fear and go "over the edge". If you know the statistics, adolescent boys participate in this dangerous area too much as it is without Disney encouraging them.

Besides the shirts, pants and hats that were encouraging "No Fear", there were T-shirt messages as follows:

Feel it when you lose,
Inflict it when you don’t.

When the gloves hit the ground,
The real fun begins.

Kick me, spike me, throw me, knock me into the ground. I like it.

Does not play well with others.
It seems others have a problem with losing.

Are these truly the kinds of messages the Disney Corporation wants to portray? As the visionaries of the world for children, I would hope not.

We will be putting this message on our website and will update it when we hear your response and proposed action steps to be taken, if any. Yours in continued growth,

Crayola Denigrates Native Americans

September 23, 1996, Richard Gurin, Binney & Smith Inc., PO Box 431, Easton, PA 18044, 610.253.6271

I was very disturbed to see that the new 64 pack of Crayola’s I just purchased contains a color called "Indian Red". I’ve returned it to you and have thrown out the rest since I don’t want to expose children to what I believe to be a racist image.

Does it represent "Indians" from the Southwest, or the East or Eskimo. Actually, Indian’s are from India. Native American’s in this country are not nor do they call themselves "Indian". That, like the word "savage", were imposed terms given them by our government. Much like the government’s use of Hispanic, though the word "Indian" carries a lot more damaging history with it.

It may not be intentional, but surely your people with all their creativity can come up with a more suitable name for the color.

I am not Native American. And I am offended. I would be most interested in knowing where you stand on this situation and will report the progress on our website. Yours in continued growth, Gordon Clay

Well, the PR department wrote us back that "Indian Red" is a color found in India and there weren't any plans to change.

Update - On 7/27/99, we got the news that Binney & Smith, after over 250,000 complaints, decided to change the name of the "Indian Red" to "Chestnut". Who says we can't make a difference?

There's always a first time

Parabola. You know the old saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". But, who knows where one ends and the other begins, much less perceives the balance? Certainly, an intelligence dulled and dim cannot read the signs along the way or open to the call for presence. Lost in an everyday routine, it remains forgetful of its real aim, the search for wholeness. Can an understanding of how play relates to work, and work to play, sharpen our attention into clarity? The Winter, 1996 issue includes 17 articles on various areas of this subject.

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Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

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