TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote SocialTimes AllFacebook FishbowlNY FishbowlDC PRNewser 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

‘Porno’ Ads Rebuffed by Parents, Prudes

Kevin Smith‘s “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” was almost rated NC-17, cuz’ they show penis and vagina in the context of sexy times. Luckily, Smith was able to talk his way into an R rating, but now the movie’s ads are facing similar scrutiny from the poor folks who have been exposed to the word ‘porno’ and their kiddies.

No joke. One guy said he and his son were watching a baseball game, and while he was explaining the sacrifice bunt scenario to his little one, the commercial came on. Kid’s response, “Dad, what does ‘porno’ mean?”

And that’s generally the type of response the campaign is getting from parents and prudes; the outcome has had (in our opinion) a negative effect on commerce, free speech and what’s probably a funny movie. In some cases ad placements (on bus shelters and other public spots) has been pulled. All this, according to the AP.

ALeqM5gMijfsz-LpHA71P7maMgrnDZ81LA.jpg

Take a look at the ads. The one we’ve shown is pretty standard for the campaign &#151 they read, “Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks made a movie so titillating that we can only show you this drawing”. Um, they’re not kidding. In all, “15 newspapers and several TV stations and cable channels” have denied the campaign placement, mostly on the principle that the word “porno” creates controversy.

Controversy? “Porno” is probably one of the funniest words in our language. No one ever said, “Dude, you gotta see this porno I just found” because it was so hot. In my experience it’s always been used in the context of situations like, oh say, “Two girls, one cup”.

So maybe it’s confusing to kids, and we understand the struggle parents might have with explaining to their young ones what a porno is. But why is this all of a sudden a problem? What happens when the kid flips through the Sunday comics and the Kohl’s lingerie insert falls out (do kids even read the comics anymore”) and BAM there’s a 20-something blond in lace undies and a wire frame bra? Johnny just got his first erection is what happens, and there ends his youth (or so the prudes would have us think).

This campaign could not be any less sexual. In fact, a friend of mine saw the movie and told me the sex scenes were completely unsexy &#151 which is reflected in the ads. It’s a Seth Rogen flick, what more should we say about it?

Find out, after the jump.


When I look out my apartment window, I see a giant billboard for some strip club &#151 which is accompanied by two busty women in red and blue bras. There are children that live in my building &#151 who have undoubtedly seen it, too.

My point is, visual representations of sex stick out in kids’ minds much more than words. Sure, they might ask about what “porno” means, but that doesn’t mean they’ll associate the word with explicit sex. Parents, if your kid asks, just say, “I’ll tell you when you’re older” or “It’s a movie for adults”, and call it a friggin’ day. The last thing we need to do is stop the advertising of successful products &#151 and Seth Rogen (at this point in time) is comedic gold &#151 which at the bottom line means he’s money.

When I was a kid, the first music video I ever saw (and my first exposure to “sex” other than my conception) involved Madonna in lingerie, a knife and a priest. The first breasts I was exposed to came via Revenge of the Nerds &#151 but I in no way recall ever seeing a word that left such an impression on me that I still remember it today.

What I remember are the images &#151 Madonna, sorority girls. Not words. We’re visual beings and this is attempt to curtail advertising for the sake of sex is, in a word, ridiculous. And besides, “Zack and Miri Make an Adult Film” just sounds lame.

More:The ‘G’ And The Missing T’ In GSD&M

Mediabistro Course

PR: Incorporating Social Media & Multimedia

Public Relations: Incorproating Social Media and MultimdediaStarting October 22, learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, and keyword search to get your client's message heard! In this course, you'll learn how to develop online video, make social media updates, display multimedia content, and master your client's SEO so that your message will spread and reach all the right places. Register now!