Reuters’ Oddly Enough files has some, er, refreshing news from the world of advertizing…
The Marlboro Man is having an identity crisis.
The Leo Burnett advertising agency, which created the iconic macho cowboy, said a new study it conducted found that half the men in most parts of the world don't know what is expected of them in society and three-quarters of them think images of men in advertising are out of touch with reality.
Most ads have lumped men into one of two groups -- the soft, caring type known as "metrosexuals," who are comfortable with facial peels and pink shirts, or the stereotypical "retrosexuals," who remain oafishly addicted to beer and sports.
"As the world is drifting toward a more feminine perspective, many of the social constructs men have taken for granted are undergoing significant shifts or being outright dismantled," said Tom Bernardin, chairman and chief executive of Leo Burnett Worldwide.
"It's a confusing time, not just for men, but for marketers as well as they try to target and depict men meaningfully," he said this week during a presentation in the south of France where the ad industry is gathered for its annual conference.
Oh no, the advertizers are finding it difficult, the poor things!!!
The issue here is not about what ads we see on our televisions – personally, I couldn’t care less if I never looked at an ad again – the issue here is whether or not we are willing to allow marketing companies to determine who we are, be it men or women, or how we are perceived?
Do I need a bunch of suits who only want to peddle cigarettes and beer and such to tell me how to be a man?
I certainly hope I’m not expected to believe all this “makes up for” ads from days gone by which presumed all women would get excited about was whether or not their washing powder got their clothes 50% whiter. More bonehead sexual stereotyping does not cancel out past bonehead sexual stereotyping.
Bloody hell, the thought of this crap being seriously discussed makes me want to go out and pick up a carton of Marlboro to relieve the stress.