Minnesota: Should AIDS Walk Ads Be Sexy?
December 3, 2009
The Minnesota AIDS Project's campaign to promote its AIDS Walk 2010 among young gay men has drawn mixed reactions. MAP's print advertisements feature fit, oil-slathered young men wearing nothing but orange banners reading "How Much Will You Raise?" across their midsections, while the text makes use of sexual double entendres. The promotion has touched off an online discussion questioning whether sex should be used to promote an AIDS event, and whether such an approach might actually encourage promiscuity.
"We're starting the third post-Rock Hudson generation now, and AIDS doesn't set off the same alarm as it did in the 1980s," said Lorraine Teel, MAP's executive director. Most of the ads for the walk are conventional, with smiling, clothed people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities, she said. The ads for young gay men are meant to bring HIV/AIDS out of the background, she said, noting, "If we can use sex to sell toothpaste and cars, why not use it to talk about having safer sex?"
"Something isn't clicking with the traditional messages, and there's a part of the key under-30 crowd audience that will respond to this," said David Folkens, MAP's communications director.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
11.19.2009; Kristin Tillotson
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.