Saturday, November 26, 2005

Marquette Tribune Runs Salacious Ad, Backtracks

In the November 17, 2005 number of the Marquette Tribune, Philosophy graduate student Michael Jordan took the paper to task for an ad it had been running.

As I was reading a certain newspaper paper the other day, I was dumbstruck by an advertisement from that ran on the last page. The ad featured a list of ringtones, games and screensaver graphics for cell phone purchase. Aside from that oldie but goodie song, “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper)” by the music genius T-Pain; everyone’s wedding favorite, “Bad B***h”, by the classical artist Webbie; and what is now considered one of the best scores ever composed, “Because I Got High,” by Afroman, the most noteworthy aspect of the advertisement had to do with five downloadable graphics of scantily clad women with sybaritic expressions writ large on their faces. For example, one of these femme fatales is unstringing her bikini bottom as if to say to any would-be buyer, “Wherever your cell phone is, Big Boy, don’t forget that I’m there, too.” Let this one example suffice for descriptions of the others.

Where did this advertisement run, you say? Why, in our very own school newspaper. That’s right. In its Nov. 15 issue, The Marquette Tribune ran the Do-Your-Thing ad front and center on the last page.

Jordan went on to say that “. . . it seems pretty clear that the content of the ad flies in the face of the morals and teaching of the Catholic Church.”

Ironically, in the exact same number of the Tribune that carried Jordan’s column, the exact ad appeared on page 12!

To its credit, the Tribune didn’t merely blow off the issue. Buried at the bottom of page 2 in the November 22 issue was the following notice:
From the Student Media Advertising Department

The display advertisement for in the Nov. 10, 15 and 17 editions of the Tribune included some graphics and music titles that did not meet the standards of acceptance set by our office, the Department of Student Media and Marquette University. This was an error on our part, as the advertisement was not adequately reviewed before it was given approval. The content of the advertisement has since been changed by the third party producing it in order to comply with our standards of acceptance. Student Media Advertising regrets the error and any offense taken by Tribune readers.
We aren’t able to evaluate the “changed content” since that particular ad did not appear in the November 22 issue.

This was in fact a fairly minor screw up -- not something in the “outrage” category but more something in the “we messed up, we’ll be more careful next time” category. Kudos to Michael Jordan for making an issue of it, however. Too many people let too many things like this simply “slide by.”


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