I was reading a recent issue of Linux Journal when I stumbled across an ad featuring a prominent picture of a woman’s face and the headline “Don’t feel bad, our servers won’t go down on you, either.” I thought that was kind of ballsy for an IT publication, and I’ve been meaning to scan it to show it off.
Personally, I thought the worst part of the ad was the poor design. There’s just something a little odd about the way her hair (and everything else) is cropped out of the picture and one eye is darker than the other. Otherwise the headline gave me a chuckle, and while I was surprised LJ ran it, I was far from offended.
Apparently — and unsurprisingly — others disagree. I can’t wait to see how many scolding letters they post in the Letters column, like the time they dared to run a Microsoft ad.
The funny thing is, this ad is less offensive than others I’ve seen. Sure, the headline is more suggestive, but if you flip to the back of Maximum PC you’ll see several pictures of scantily-clad women standing next to computers and parts. And do I need to remind anyone of the Go Daddy Super Bowl commercials?
There are a few simple facts:
1) Sex sells. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t have bothered. Nor would the advertisers in the back of MaxPC bother.
2) Bad publicity is good publicity. QSOL doesn’t care what people think of the ad, as long as they’re talking about it. (Not to mention linking back to them, like I just did.)
3) Geeks are a horny lot. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but yes, it fits. Don’t believe me? Attend Archon. You may not get all of them to admit it, but there are several of them who would see this ad and emit Beavis and Butthead-style chuckles as they showed it off to their friends. Sex sells to them.
Still don’t like it? Boo-hoo. Turn the page and forget about it.