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matter-of-fact homosexuality? 
18th-Mar-2012 06:54 pm [tv]
accent shadow

Are there adverts in british telly that treat homosexuality in a matter-of-fact manner?

as in, say you have a cereal advert or a retirement plan advert that shows some sort of family or couple because advertisers try to play to a warm family values atmosphere. are there examples of adverts that will do this but with a homosexual couple, not really drawing attention to it, but just putting it out there?

19th-Mar-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Ikea do this with their in-store advertising. One of their 'example' homes is shown belonging to a male same-sex couple. I'm sure there are other examples, but that came directly to mind.
19th-Mar-2012 07:56 am (UTC)
IKEA even have a nice ad with a trans woman!
19th-Mar-2012 12:29 pm (UTC)
How can you tell she's a trans woman? Just curious.
19th-Mar-2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
It's pretty obvious, but in a nice way. (She burns her old driver's license, for one!)

19th-Mar-2012 03:13 am (UTC)
There was a perfume ad that used to run around Xmas time, I think it was for a Jean-Paul Gaultier fragrance, that saw a man and a woman running, in separate frames, leaving the viewer to assume they are running towards each other. However they are actually running into the arms of their same sex partners, with a full on snog from each to conclude the advert. I remember it shocked the mid western red-neck husband when he was visiting and saw it, whereas I was just pffffft so what?

In a similar vein are there ANY US adverts for cleaning products that show a man actually cleaning? Or serving food? I swear to God it's like traveling back to the 70s seeing some of the adverts here, let alone the TV --Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right are STILL running?! late night talk shows all have to be hosted by straight men? And don't get me started on Craig Ferguson, hell he wasn't funny in the 1980s and certainly hasn't improved since he was inflicted on us by BBC Scotland. Oh and the horrible level of misogyny exhibited across the political divide, spewed forth by the likes of Bill Maher to the left and the shame of Missouri on the right, whose name I cannot even bring myself to utter, let alone type.
/and breathe...

All in all I find the misogyny and lack of representation of gay lifestyles in the mainstream media here deeply disturbing.

19th-Mar-2012 07:28 am (UTC)
They show a man cleaning if they pitch it like "So easy, even a man can do it!" There was a recent Huggies ad that showed a bunch of daddies being totally inept while taking care of the baby. It got so much flack that they pulled it right away.

I never noticed that...is it late night for straight men and daytime for gay women?
19th-Mar-2012 08:28 am (UTC)
Recently there's been a string of cleaning supply advertisements in the US that show a man cleaning ineptly (for example, failing to mop up a spill with paper towels) and a woman coming along to show him how to do it. Which is, IMO, even worse.
19th-Mar-2012 10:38 am (UTC)
My (American) wife LOVES Craig Ferguson, and was rather shocked to find that over here, he's considered a washed-out stand-up comedian who disappeared in the mid 1990s...
19th-Mar-2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
a few years ago there was a series of adverts running for some truck (i think it was a Ford truck). It was when people were all trending on Hemi engines. the adverts starred a couple who wanted specific things out of their dream vehicle, and it startled me how "stereotype" the whole thing was.

one example advert was, the couple was in some sort of "couples therapy", and the doctor asks them, "describe your dream vehicle." she says things like, "good gas mileage, high safety standards, DVD player for our kid, something for the whole family". He says, "kick ass engine, a car i can take offroad so i can go fishing and drink beer with my mates." During their description, they show scenes of the Ford being used in both ways. point was to say that this truck could pander to both genders' needs.

it was pretty appalling to me; other adverts might play into stereotypical "sexy woman!" stereotypes (say, Bud Light commercials or what not) which can bother me too, but this felt more sinister. as if it was saying, "here's what a man wants out of his vehicle. here's what a wife should want out of her vehicle." like the man doesn't have family values, and that the woman serves as nothing more than a wife who can keep that in check.

and it makes me wonder if people who watch telly all of the time are used to adverts like that because it never seemed to me like anyone else ever batted an eye about it.
19th-Mar-2012 07:56 am (UTC)
Lloyds TSB had a male couple in their cartoon-style ads a while back - I can only find googled reference to the print ads but I'm pretty sure they were in one of the animated tv ads too.

There's been a same-sex attraction Impulse ad, but I'm not sure that counts because those are not about relationships!

Egg had a same-sex guinea-pig couple (er, it makes sense in context, given that all the characters in the campaign were voiced animals) but again, does it count?
19th-Mar-2012 10:26 am (UTC)
On a related note, it's ten years or so since I was in the US, but I noticed then that TV ad couples/families seemed never to be interracial – you'd have a black couple or a white couple, but not one of each. Is that still the way?

(In the UK they're pretty common, presumably because interracial relationships are pretty common in real life.)
19th-Mar-2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
yeah, still true from what i can tell.

don't get me started on the whole race thing in US advertising. that asians depicted without stereotype exist only in a small fraction of adverts here bothers me and i'm not even a particularly proud-of-my-heritage asian.
19th-Mar-2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
Feel for you :-(

I'm half Asian, and it's definitely quite validating to see people like me generally being presented by the media as normal Britons. There are still the stereotype depictions too, but they're getting rarer.
19th-Mar-2012 10:42 am (UTC)
The moonpig.com advert currently running on UK TV shows (I think) a same-sex, mixed-race couple. Can't find it online though.

There was a deoderant advert where a woman found herself chasing after a particular hunky man on a street, only to gradually realise that all the men on said street were hunky - and gay.
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19th-Mar-2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
yeah, i know that homosexuality is much more accepted in the US, that's one of the things that prompted this question, to what degree was this exemplified in media.

the thought was: although the US is making breakthroughs in homosexual rights and such, i tend to believe that no major corporation is going to take a chance to put a homosexual couple in an advert on tv because of the potential fallout. Even if the homosexual couple was shown in a matter-of-fact way, it would turn into a nationwide Big Deal, therefore no big company would take a chance on it because it would make profits go down.

but that's what i want. media controls so much of our perception, i want that one company to be brave and start the revolution of it. i want the one company to take a stance about the current women's rights issues we're going through now also and start the revolution of that too. until that one big company does that, momentum on women's rights and lgbtq rights will always be a difficult push.
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19th-Mar-2012 01:44 pm (UTC)

yeah, sorry that was a typo. i meant to say more accepted in the UK.
19th-Mar-2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
it would turn into a nationwide Big Deal

I think this is it really: there aren't (in the UK) the big organized lobbies that would attack a company for doing that.

There are still plenty of people here who don't like homosexuality. But they know that the general consensus is one of tolerance and so they just let out the odd bitter moan.

It might well be that in the US the consensus is really one of tolerance as well, and it's just media distortion of one viewpoint that suggests otherwise. But as you say, no big company will be brave enough to put that to the test. (They weren't any braver here either – gay couples didn't start appearing in adverts until years after the social battle had been clearly won.)
19th-Mar-2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
They weren't any braver here either – gay couples didn't start appearing in adverts until years after the social battle had been clearly won.

ah, that's interesting. i'd think that media (not necessarily advertising) would have played a big role in helping tip that social battle given the sort of influence that media has on the populace.
19th-Mar-2012 02:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, tbh I'm not sure what really did tip the social balance, it had pretty much happened by the time I was old enough to realize. I think TV drama was a big part -- sympathetic and realistic gay characters in TV soap operas, and the like. Because we only had a few TV channels in the UK until quite recently, the social influence of the big soaps was considerable. I guess well over half the country watched at least one of the three biggest ones (Coronation Street, Eastenders and Brookside) which were all quite socially progressive.
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19th-Mar-2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, good spot!
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20th-Mar-2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
Yes. Not so much with the adverts, but quiz shows and property shows and 'reality' shows take gay and mixed race couples as a matter of course now.
21st-Mar-2012 12:38 am (UTC)
I was going to comment wondering how long until Don't Tell the Bride featured a gay couple, but apparently they've already done so twice. And pleasingly, as part of the normal series rather than as highlighting them as specials.
21st-Mar-2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
Home improvement shows in the US tend to be the same way. I will admit, I watch a LOT of HGTV and it seems to show same-sex couples and interracial couples in a very matter of fact way far more often than most American channels.
19th-Mar-2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
There was just the huge furor in the US when JC Penney announced that Ellen was going to be appearing in their ads as a spokesperson. Mostly it was from some online mums group - One Million Moms or something - but as I only heard about it from the LGBT side of things, I have no idea if it was limited to that group or if the general public there feels the same way.

There's still complaints over here for some appearances of LGBT people in advertising but by and large, they don't seem to be upheld.
20th-Mar-2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
There was an ad in the US where a mother was painting her son's toenails pink. I don't even remember what the ad was for, but it became TOE-GATE!
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