Business, Not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market by Katherine Sender

By Katherine Sender

In a hard-hitting ebook that refutes traditional knowledge, Katherine Sender explores the relationship among the enterprise of selling to homosexual shoppers and the politics of homosexual rights and identification. She disputes a few sellers' claims that advertising appeals to homosexual and lesbian shoppers are an issue of ''business, no longer politics'' and that the company of homosexual advertising and marketing may be thought of independently of the politics of homosexual rights, identification, and visibility.

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Business, Not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market

In a hard-hitting ebook that refutes traditional knowledge, Katherine Sender explores the relationship among the enterprise of promoting to homosexual shoppers and the politics of homosexual rights and identification. She disputes a few dealers' claims that advertising appeals to homosexual and lesbian shoppers are an issue of ''business, now not politics'' and that the company of homosexual advertising and marketing might be thought of independently of the politics of homosexual rights, identification, and visibility.

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28 EVOLUTION, NOT REVOLUTION need to offer the same circulation and readership data that other magazines could. ”21 Whether this ad read as gay to gay or heterosexual audiences in the 1950s, history does not relate. Despite the dearth of open appeals to gay consumers through the 1960s, a range of cultural and advertising trends that marked the latter half of this decade as one of nonconformity, defiance, and self-chosen identity set the stage for the earliest attempts to imagine a gay market. 24 These political movements, in turn, made identity groups more visible to mainstream marketers.

A national average of $32,144; 59% are college graduates vs. 61 By the mid-1990s these market research reports were increasingly criticized, primarily for their unrepresentative sampling methods, with critics observing that readership surveys that relied on respondents’ willingness to self-disclose their sexual identity were bound to be skewed toward those more financially and professionally secure. 62 Other attempts to gain representative data included Greenfield Online’s Internet study with the Spare Parts marketing group, and surveys by large cor- 40 EVOLUTION, NOT REVOLUTION porations such as IBM, American Express, and Subaru that hoped to get reliable information before launching expensive campaigns.

63 Some writers made explicit links between a political presence and a target market. One journalist observed,“Two months from now, when nearly 1 million gays, lesbians and their supporters are expected to come to Washington in a massive march of unity, many participants might be surprised by who else will be joining them in force. A spokesperson from Carillon Importers, marketers of Absolut, commented:“We’re not encouraging or discouraging [homosexuality], we are just making a statement. ”65 Yet some marketers were nervous about their products becoming associated with political activism.

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