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in the news/4

Volume 15/Issue 20

Gay Men Can't Touch...In New York

Billboard in CaliforniaM ovo Media, Inc., one of the nation's largest telephone dating services, has stumbled upon a solid wall of resistance to their gay-oriented advertising efforts by the New York Metro Transit Authority's outdoor agencies. The advertisement, which features a male couple embracing, was turned down by the MTA as unacceptable. Placement was scheduled for the heavily gay areas of Chelsea and Greenwich Village.

Movo Media currently has an advertisement, of the same male couple, displayed on a billboard in Los Angeles. Other billboards are slated to go up in Chicago and Miami Beach.

"The MTA requested putting clothes on the shirtless couple and we complied," said Movo Media CEO, Mark Terwilliger. "Far more provocative panels for perfume, movies and underwear are routinely displayed by outdoor agencies on behalf of their clients." Terwilliger termed the rejection as discriminatory and homophobic.

Movo Media Ad for New York "The MTA is clearly conducting itself under two sets of standards," adds Movo Media president, Gregg Collins. "We're just asking for an equal opportunity to conduct our business." The MTA, a public agency, has refused to run any advertising in which a male couple is so much as touching.

Movo Media, Inc., projected to gross over $25 million this year, is expanding their services to the East coast, and serves 85 cities in the US and Canada. Some of their brands include The Confidential Connection, where men and women can record voice mail messages for anyone to respond, and interactive chat and messaging lines such as Club Voice-MALE and TALK Salad. Their newest brand, Zip!, combines telephone and internet capabilities.

With the ever increasing gay market already embraced by such major companies as IKEA, Diesel Jeans and Workwear, Absolute, Miller Lite, and IBM, the MTA poses a new battle against discrimination and censorship.

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