The Fair and Foul of Ads Targeting Gays

Last Updated Jan 7, 2008 2:55 PM EST

The Fair and Foul of Ads Targeting GaysIf marketers are looking for a target audience, they could do a whole lot worse than homosexual Americans. Gay and lesbian households have a median income of $83,000, and typically no children to spend it on. 180 Fortune 500 companies made their pitch for a share of homosexual Americans' disposable income by placing ads in gay publications last year.

This week Radar samples the best and the worst of these efforts, which range from a subtle wink, to the laughably crude, to the borderline pornographic. A look at their choices, and the sometimes barbed accompanying comments, is instructional for any marketing professional who wishes to target this coveted demographic without earning scorn by descending into stereotypes.

The Embassy Suites Hotel ad pictured here comes in for praise:

"It's the kind of thing you might see in a straight ad," says Dave Mills, owner of Ten4 Creative, the agency behind this tasteful depiction of two men spooning. "If we're talking about equality, let's demonstrate it."
(Image of advertisement from Radar)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.