Well before the June 1969 Stonewall riots threw open the closet doors to unleash and proclaim an unmistakable gay mantra, myriad clues — some subliminal, others overt — clearly ingrained the notion of homosexuality in advertisements appearing on the pages of many American periodicals. Hedonistically intertwined with homoerotic connections are advertising themes such as youth, vitality, and carnal pleasure. Gay intimacy and interaction, references to the male genitalia, and threats of sexual conquest of and between men can be documented in ads as far back as the late 1800s. And, although the images reflected in their advertising mirror are fewer and farther between, women who prefer the company of other women similarly have been goosed and gandered by Madison Avenue.
In this richly illustrated tapestry hinting at homosexuality in American advertising, Bruce H. Joffe examines and analyzes over 200 suggestive ads … concluding that gay imbroglio and innuendo tease at us amid subliminal elements seductively perceived and strategically portrayed.
A Professor of Communication who has taught Gay & Lesbian Studies courses at George Mason University, Dr. Joffe is now on the faculty of Mary Baldwin College where he continues to explore sexual minorities, the media, and cultural norms.
Author royalties from this book will benefit the Commercial Closet Association, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization working to influence the world of advertising to understand, respect and include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) references that create a more accepting society while achieving successful business results.
"Joffe´s new book ... documents ads, starting in 1905, that would raise eyebrows even among gay people living in 2007."--The Washington Blade
"The mere fact that this was written by ... a noted academician in the field of gay and lesbian studies, makes this an engaging and enlightening read. If you think that Winnie the Pooh´s gay leanings is enough to make you fall off your seat, then wait till you read this book. You might even start to believe that the Marlboro Man ... is also gay."--On the Edge of Reason
"...a groundbreaking new look at GLBT portrayals in marketing ..."--commercialcloset.org
"Joffe identifies ... more than 225 advertisements published by major manufacturers and retailers dating back to the turn of the 20th century - including some of the more well-known brands on the American landscape - that contain same-sex imagery."--Augusta Free Press
"Homosexuality has often been a much talked-about issue, but rarely has it been dealt with in the aspect of advertising. A Hint of Homosexuality? crashes through the protective fences of conservatism and delves into this hot topic with much gusto. Readers only have to open their minds in leafing through the pages of this book, as it provides thorough analyses and interpretations of advertisements – both recent and vintage – and the subliminal homoerotic messages hidden in them. Much of the ideas and discussions ... are given credence due to the undeniable expertise of author Dr. Bruce Joffe in the said subject."--I-Newswire
"Leafing through Hint forces the reader to look at old marketing in a new light. The book gives many examples of coding, the subtle images inserted in print advertising that would go unnoticed by a straight reader but perk the attention of an informed gay man or lesbian."--David Atlanta
"So, those male underwear ads in the old Sears, Montgomery Wards, and JC Penney catalogs weren´t the only ones out there in the 1960´s and early 1970´s to draw the curiosity of a young adolescent gay male. Oh, the power of advertising!"--bufftuff.blogspot.com
"... definitely a ´Must See´ ... examples of themes and messages that were almost explicitly gay or gay-friendly--yet not picked up on by hetero-America"--jumponmarkslist.com
"What´s interesting is what happens much more often, when the message or image is subtle--and that´s been going on for a very long time. In fact, author Bruce H. Joffe´s well-illustrated new book, A Hint of Homosexuality, takes a look at gay and homoerotic images that go back as far as the late 1800s. Suggestions of male/male intimacy, the male basket, sexual competition and conquest and more, have long been subliminal messages that sell."--Mandate magazine, March 2008.
Communications professor Bruce H. Joffe, Ph.D., has taught no-nonsense public relations, media, and marketing courses at The American University, George Mason University, and Mary Baldwin College. As president and creative director of a successful public relations firm in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area, Dr. Joffe helped to manage the reputation of his clients for more than 20 years. He created promotional materials and metrics for large corporations and local businesses to use in their “branding” efforts, while positioning non-profits to raise the bar on the resources and awareness they need to make a real difference. Joffe´s most recent focus has been on Gay & Lesbian Studies. Through research and publications, he continues to explore the relationship between sexual minorities, the media, and cultural norms.