Claim of correlation between democracy and advertising ‘absurd’

Dear Editor,

The defense of the Deja Vu advertisement by Brianna Bodine (appearing on page 5 of the issue from Oct. 27, 2004) is unconvincing. Ultimately the issue is not legality, but whether or not accepting money from such an entity is appropriate. The Northerner is not the Enquirer. Its purpose is not to be a viable business.

The notion that it is permissible to run ads because other papers do is an appeal to playground logic. The content of lingerie and Haagen-Dazs ads (no matter how manipulative) is not relevant to discussion of ads accepted by The Northerner. Placing advertisements in The Northerner has no discernable connection with the health of democracy. To state that the two are some how related is completely absurd.

If accepting money for the placement of advertisement is not supporting the message of that advertisement, what is it doing? If strip clubs are places where women are overtly objectified by a patriarchal power, how is it that The Northerner, by accepting the ad, is not also accepting a role in this objectification? Would Deja Vu still thrive without The Northerner? It’s most certain. But, again, to use this argument is to appeal to yet another irrelevant issue. What does how well Deja Vu is doing have to do with The Northerner deciding to run an ad for it?

The author asks, “Do you really think the guys don’t already know about the strip clubs?” To which I reply: How is that question or its answer relevant to the issue of accepting advertisement from that establishment? No one is saying such ads should be banned because of their revelatory effects, but there are quite a few people speaking to their inappropriateness.

The article also implies that truth is market driven. What a horrifying thought. Even language such as, “the marketplace of ideas” seems to miss the point altogether and take the reader on yet another detour that yields nothing of consequence. Refusing such ads is not unfounded bias, as the article suggested. It is very well founded, for the reasons and questions above. What is unfounded is nearly every observation in the article. Ads for pornography do not promote “open and robust public debate.” The issue of pornography is what sparks discourse. Advertisement for it is just that, an attempt to sell it.

Daniel Moore Senior, photography