On Tuesday, for World AIDS Day, a full-page ad appeared in the Gazette that was designed to catch attention and promote safe sex. On the background of six really long condoms were over 200 fake personal classified ads, some flirty but others raunchy or crude, promoting anonymous sex but also safe sex. Many mentioned condoms being a must, or made vague references to cleanliness and “safe”-ness.
Although AIDS awareness campaigns are almost always designed to shock with this kind of crudeness, having it right up front of the A section of a newspaper was a bit much for some readers, who have sent in letters to complain, particularly about the unmangled use of F-words:”long fucks”, “seeks fuckfriend”, “gang bangs”, “want to fuck now and again”, “meal & fuck session over the holidays”, “fuckfest”, etc.
You had to scan a while to find the first one, and they’re in the minority, but you can imagine some underage children having a few giggles (and scratching their heads).
Was it too much? Should the ad have been partially censored? Or is our collective Victorian attitude toward sex a small price ot pay to prevent people from getting a horrible disease? (One might argue that people’s naive delusions about sex are part of the problems AIDS battlers face.)
For me, I’m just impressed the creators of this ad came up with over 200 fake classifieds without repeating them.
I think the english should get a (collective) life and pull their heads out of their puritan arses and start accepting that sex is good and fun.
I hate people that paint other groups of people with a single brush. They’re usually intolerant assholes. *Usually*.
As a minority in a largely french society, you better learn fast how the majority of people see you.
My point exactly.
They probably slurped Craigslist…
It’s a great ad and did exactly what it was suppose to. I’m sure there is not a lot of 12 years old that reads the Gazette. People that got offended are the same people that watch a full tv show and complains about it after. If you don’t like something, change the channel or flip the page.
For a better impact, I would have not used fake ads but used this background in the real classified.
Who said they were fake? They could have harvested them (and slightly changed) anywhere. The ads in the m4m sections of craigslist for instance: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/m4m/
I don’t think anybody would complain if they were “cited”.
So people have no problem with articles about ecological disasters, horrific violence, child abuse etc etc sitting on the coffee table for their children to peruse, but mention sex or use the word “fuck” with a sexual connotation and suddenly it’s MORAL PANIC!!
I think people who have a problem with sex need to get themselves a fuck-friend :)
If an “underage” kid actually sat down and read the whole darn thing, I’d be impressed. I’d like to think most people, if they read it at all, just skipped to the headline at the bottom.
I use worse language around my personal tweenagers, so it’s not THINK OF THE CHILLUNS’ I’m on about at all. But… I don’t want to see that in the Gazette. It’s the fucking Gazette. It’s not Mirror or Hour. It’s the Gazette. It’s Westmount English, not Point St. Charles English.
I don’t know anyone who looks for anon random sex who does not actually use condoms regularly. The people they need to worry about are the serial monogamist in two month “relationships” who never use condoms because yk, they’re in “relationships.”
I live in Westmont and people here use the word “fuck” quite often. Personally, I like newspapers that use The Guardian’s style guide: http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide/f – for fuck, it says: “do not describe this as “a good, honest old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon word” because, first, there is no such thing as an Anglo-Saxon word (they spoke Old English) and, more important, its first recorded use dates from 1278
And the swearwords entry has:
We are more liberal than any other newspapers, using language that our competitors would not. But even some readers who agree with Lenny Bruce that “take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government” might feel that we sometimes use such words unnecessarily.
The editor’s guidelines are as follows:
First, remember the reader, and respect demands that we should not casually use words that are likely to offend.
Second, use such words only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article; there is almost never a case in which we need to use a swearword outside direct quotes.
Third, the stronger the swearword, the harder we ought to think about using it.
Finally, never use asterisks, which are just a cop-out”
Hard to argue with that.
I agree with all that just fine but… I want my Gazette to be nice whitewashed Canwestianism. I don’t expect to think when I read the Gazette, and I like it like that.
I’m a snob because I read the best english-language newspaper on the web? One that has all of its content available without charge? Or I’m a snob because I live in Westmount and say “fuck”? You know nothing of my political opinions at all yet you make a sweeping value judgment. You may think I’m a snob, but you have demonstrated that you are a cretin. The sad thing is that I actually agree with many of the comments you make -particularly about “green” related issues such as cycling. Yet you have decided to close you mind without bothering to find out more. Very sad, Jean, very sad.
Flattery will get you nowhere.
No, I just have a neeeed for order. Like I’m not eating fish at Magnan.
OMG. Fuck in a newspaper. Call the police.
To tell you the truth, that Ad catched my attention, if it said “AIDS BEAWARE/WEAR CONDOMS” in bolded letters, I’d skip to the next page pretty quickly.
I’m more surprised that it’s a government ad of all things.
It’s also interesting that they censored the offending words in the letters (which I believe they do in the rest of the paper too) but it seems there’s no issue if it’s used in ads. Unless of course it was a discrepancy or oversight on their part.
So you see stuff in the newspaper that you don’t like…what to do? Call the Human Right Commission? Bzzzzzt – wrong!
TURN THE PAGE!
It’s as simple as that. Same goes for TV and radio – change the station.
Where is it written in the holy saint Charter of Rights that you have the right not to be offended???
Where did I say that? There is no such thing as the “right to not be offended.”
Gee!!! People seem to think I am attacking them all the time! :) :) :) :) :) :) Why would that be???? :) :) :) :) :) :) I am just buttressing your argument… :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)