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Nude backlash advertising

nude chick flick - dominant damsels
Let no one say I can't tell a good bandwagon to jump on when I see one.
Some of the cartoonists of the Modern Tales family of cartoonists are having great fun designing ads for their work to show on Talk About Comics (the blog and the forum). The gem shown on your right, an ad for the excellent serial Flick is the most succesful internet ad I've ever seen - its clickthrough is in the region of 10% and has been for two weeks. Readers are clicking on it like hyperactive monkeys. The lesson here isn't that skin sells, but that well-drawn skin in an interesting style sells if there aren't any other distracting elements in the graphic. There are other ads with nudity in there but none of them is getting people interested like this one.
As site owner Joey Manley predicted, the use of nude images in the advertising would eventually provoke a backlash, and people have indeed been complaining. Below are some ads made by the various cartoonists in response to the complaints (note large images below the cut):

Magellan-saving TAC from nudie adsflick join the backlash 1flick join the backlash 2

totally naked - notantinudityad.png

Sorry for the big download - I always make an effort to make any graphics I produce nice and small but some others use inappropriate image formats and produce very large graphic files, and I'm not going to recompress other people's images.

Readers in the complaints thread seem to have appreciated this approach, so in addition to being a way for us to play with ad space, it's probably good PR:

I gotta say that I'm as impressed with the artists for not screaming "censorship" and "quit stifling my creativity mister man!" as I am for with the folks on my side of the discussion for being reasonable and noting that it's not our sandbox. I had underestimated them, obviously.

The official policy on ad content in TAC is that any work-safeness or child-safeness for any part of the site is emphatically disclaimed. There may be tests of filters for use on other sites but there are no guarantees that you won't get fired for reading it or have to explain awkward things to your kids if they barge in on your reading session (uhm, parents? Explaining awkward things to your spawn is part of your job, and an integral part of preventing them from coming home pregnant or with a nasty infection). With that being established, it would stifle our creativity, and waste the work that we've already done if the policy was reversed, and I think we'd have a reason to complain. Nevertheless, probably better for all involved to chill a bit, get more creative with new constraints, and maintain good relations with the readership of forums that may have very different standards than our comics' own readership.
But I do have to get back to one poster on that thread re: the notion that a ratings system that applies to maybe 5% of the world's population with a considerable subsection of that group disagreeing is a common standard in any not-insane sense of the world. Or indeed the notion that any of the ads so far shown are pornographic.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 18, 2005 2:16 PM.

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