Date Approved

5-13-1998

Embargo Period

8-11-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Litwin, Larry

Subject(s)

Advertising; Gay press publications

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

In a content analysis, this study reviewed and analyzed advertising placed by national corporations in lesbian and gay magazines. The presumption was that the homosexual population is a viable niche that is being targeted by corporations with a segmented marketing approach. The purpose was to determine if these companies changed the content of these ads in any way to address the needs of the gay consumer.

The two most prominent national magazines that serve the lesbian and gay population in the United States are The Advocate and Out. From these two magazines was drawn a universe of national corporations that have advertised in these publications as well as Time, Glamour, Newsweek and Vanity Fair.

The ads published in the lesbian-gay periodicals were examined for specific reference to any sexual orientation. These were coded as either "straight" or "gay." If a sexuality was implied but not clear, the ad was coded "ambiguous." If the placement was simply informational the code was "generic."

A chart was compiled detailing the name of the advertiser, name of gay and mainstream magazines in which advertisements appeared, the page and date, and the code assigned.

It was concluded that those advertisers who did tailor their advertising when it appeared in gay periodicals were forthright and clever in their creative efforts. Some of the most frequent advertisers who placed messages in both straight and gay audiences did not alter the content or images of the ads to reflect the niche to which the ad was targeted.

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