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Ad Exec in Northwestern Sex Demo: Why I Should Keep My Job

[This is a guest post by Joan Voight.]
Jim Marcus, the Tribal DDB Chicago creative exec who participated in a live sex act as part of a Northwestern University after-class lecture about sexuality, is anxious to keep his ad job and says he wants to balance his privacy and his urge for self-expression. For advertising creative staffers who are rewarded for their off-beat sensibilities and punished for going too far, it's a common conundrum.

Marcus says the sex demo should be treated as just another after hours activity, unrelated to work. "The person across the table from you at that last meeting does things, including sex, outside work," he says in an impassioned comment to BNET. "They may have a thousand different consensual kinks that don't impact the quality of their work one bit. I have been as responsible and entirely wishing not to fan the fires of what I consider to be a non-issue."

In the meantime, Faith Kroll, his betrothed and on-stage sex partner, has been speaking out on Twitter, saying she'd do it all again under the same circumstances. The duo also posed for pictures to go with news reports about the incident.

In his comments, Marcus goes on to advocate for more enlightened, accurate education about human sexuality, despite "media squeamishness." Regarding his sex-toy demonstration with Kroll, "ask yourself how relevant it might be if you were a student of human sexual behavior?" he says.

The problem for Tribal DDB, a unit of Omnicom (OMC), is that it has conservative clients such as McDonald's (MCD), who might not appreciate sexual self-expression being played out in college lecture halls and newspaper headlines. Certainly Marcus knows this is the age of social media -- many of the 100 students in attendance couldn't wait to write about it on their Facebook pages, which got the media coverage rolling.

Marcus insists he deserves to keep his job, casting himself as a bit of a crusader: "I love what I do and I am a great steward of brands. I am considered, by many creatives to be a powerful advocate of their ideas and their liberties, worklife standards and careers."

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