Let’s Talk About Sex
… IN ADVERTISING
This website recently revised its views on the publication of sexually explicit material. Some believed this decision to be a passing fad (tied to a specific political candidacy, actually), but we honestly felt it was time for us to grow up a bit.
Okay … a lot. We needed to grow up a lot.
Do we have a problem with sexually explicit material? No. Every American is – and should always be – free to look at pornography (assuming it depicts consenting adults). In fact we’ve consistently argued sexual liberty should be taken one step further by the decriminalization of prostitution.
We just decided to make a business – and an editorial decision to limit the amount of flesh we displayed on our pages.
Having said that, we don’t believe there’s anything wrong with running advertisements for sexually explicit service providers – assuming of course those advertisements aren’t themselves sexually explicit.
Take the video spot for (NSFW warning) Jasmin.com – which is a Luxembourg-based adult entertainment website specializing in erotic online chats.
First, here’s the spot …
(Click to play)
Obviously Jasmin.com’s ad is no more – and probably less – racy than advertisements we’ve seen from companies like GoDaddy.com or American Apparel (neither of which sells sexually explicit services). But because Jasmin.com features sexually explicit content, executives at companies like NBC Universal, Fox and Warner Brothers rejected their ad campaign for this week’s Emmy Awards.
“Why is adult entertainment considered taboo, while other ‘vice’ ideas are getting their fair share of ad space?” a Jasmin.com spokesman wondered.
That’s a good question …
It would seem to us that networks ought to judge individual ads based on their content, not necessarily the content of what they advertise. Of course we wholeheartedly support the right of private media outlets to accept – or refuse – advertising as they see fit.
This website certainly wouldn’t feature sexually explicit advertising … but we see no harm in running “safe for work” ads on behalf of sexually explicit providers.