Ad rejected by industry journal for making sexual reference

An ad for a software firm has been rejected by an industry magazine on the grounds that it is overtly sexual.

The ad for Total Synergy was blocked by Engineers Media, publisher of Engineers Australia magazine – but did run in other industry titles Architecture Australia and Architectural Review.

“I asked whether it was the pierced stomach, the tats, the nappy or the high heels that was the problem, and was told it was the overall sexual reference that was not acceptable,” said Total Synergy’s marketing manager Katie Yates, who co-wrote the ads with the company’s CEO.

The ad also featured in an email campaign, online and on event signage. They were designed by Aqua Agency.

“We have had no complaints from other media, and they have sparked much conversation and laughter,” Yates added. “The last thing we want to do is offend the market with our ads. Our business has a strong track-record in the market and we believe we are a responsible advertiser.”

An ad in Engineers Australia magazine costs around $4000 and goes out to 53,000 professional engineers. The magazine’s marketing manager Terry Marsden responded: “It’s a policy that we have laid down by our board of directors. No content, editorial or advertising, should have sexual references. We reach a very conservative market.”

Marsden added: “We have lost revenue because of this, and we may not see the advertiser back this year. I don’t have a problem with their creative approach. But we have to draw the line. I’m afraid, there are no borderline cases.”

Other executions in the Total Synergy ‘More time for…” campaign:


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