November 28, 2011

Manhunt’s New Ad Campaign: Settle Down, It’s Just Two Dudes Almost Kissing

You’ve probably heard that we’ve just launched Manhunt Mobile, our new uncensored version of Manhunt for your iPhone, Android, and iPad. You can see all of the Manhunt members near you (with an emphasis on “all of”).

Manhunt is celebrating our newest offering with a billboard campaign photographed by one of our favorite shutterbugs, Spain’s JP Santamaria. The hot shot we used features two models in a sexy but tasteful pose together.

We chose to debut the campaign in Los Angeles. The city that serves as the focal point of our highly sexualized film and television industry would surely be the perfect place to debut our ad. Right?

Not quite.

We received dozens of complaints about the campaign here at Manhunt HQ in Boston, as did our ad agency, Lamar Advertising. Citizens were reportedly concerned about children being able to view our billboards. One annoyed parent even wrote an online op-ed piece last week claiming that her complaints got our ads taken down (actually, our LA campaign expired as scheduled on 11/20/11).

In truth, we went out of our way to comply with regulations on advertising content and its proximity to certain areas. Here’s what a Lamar Advertising spokesman had to say about the controversy via e-mail:

Lamar has taken a unified stance in defending our right, and theirs [Manhunt], to advertise this business on our billboards, provided they are not within 500′ of schools, churches, playgrounds, etc.

When we originally placed the units, we used our restriction codes that we have in our system for alcohol, to make sure that we were placing Manhunt in appropriate locations. Beyond that, we spent all day yesterday auditing each one of their locations to make sure that we didn’t miss anything or that a school/pre-school hasn’t popped up recently near one of their boards. We found a couple locations that were down the street (within 500′) from a church, so we have scheduled a rotation to move these boards to a better location for Manhunt.

So Manhunt was within the letter of the law, AND went the extra mile to make sure our ad was appropriately placed.

The truth? All of this hubbub is over the fact that we depicted two men shirtless and semi-embracing.

Exhibit A:

– J. Harvey

To learn where THIS ad is located in Los Angeles, Follow the JUMP:

Yes, that is a picture of a female model putting her hand down her male counterpart’s underwear. The FRONT of his underwear. It’s an ad for fashion designer Michael Kors’ underwear line. And it was (or still is?) on a giant billboard just a few blocks away from the Manhunt ad.

Oh, and the OTHER pic on the billboard? Strategically angled nudity and dry(?)-humping!

Our ad has two guys with their faces close together. Their ad has the girl commencing a handjob on the dude. Which one would you say is more inappropriate?

No, we don’t have any evidence that there weren’t any complaints to Michael Kors, his ad agency, or to LA political officials. But we highly doubt that several media outlets approached them like they did us. Because, for some reason, gay sexuality is still scary and controversial for many people.

Aren’t there FAR more important things to be protesting against?

We encourage free and open discussion here on the Daily. Take the poll below. How do you feel about our controversial Manhunt Mobile ad campaign?

Addendum – Kelly Cole, the blogger who condemned our billboards, has written a follow-up piece. You can read it here. Thoughts?

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161 Comments - View all

Chris 3:40am on February 8, 2012

Posters are awful. Shame on you

  • Greg

    If anything, the Michael Kors ad is more racy.  I’m glad to read that Lamar and MH took the extra steps to fall within the law.

  • They are barely doing anything, the first image the two men are only touching noses, it is not like they have whipped a full image of them groping each others crotches and snogging with tongues right?

    The second one for Kors underwear is barely embracing. It is a good shot. At the end of the day 90% of artwork was more appreciated when it involved Nudity. Not for the fact it was seen as “porn” or “sexual explicit imaging”…but for the fact it was seen as ART. To me those pictures are two damn good pieces of art-work via-photography. 😉 All in the name of ADVERTISEMENT!


    I have been using Manhunt Mobile for a while now, I find it very exciting versus the Android Ap!

  • its just as rancy as any of the other underwear and condom Ads – wheres the issue??? Men date as much as women date… show me some women who have an issue with it… the underwear appeals to women and men… wheres the inappropriateness??? get a life ppl…!

  • urmom

    what a bunch of uppity cunts. deal with it…

  • Top

    Where is the “JUMP” when it says “Follow the JUMP”.  What is a JUMP anyhow?

  • Street

    The definition of a JUMP is this (see below) —- so if Manhunt is using “JUMP” they are using it wrong — please explain what JUMP in this context is — and WHERE it is !?!?! 

    Definition of Jump:  The page or view to which a user is directed when they click on an active link embedded in a banner, web page, email or other view. A click through lands the user on a jump page

  • Richard Americano

    Society has to start coming out of the closet and the dark ages. Guys have been humping guys ever since there were guys.
    What’s with all this hysteria and hypocrisy anyways? Another infringement on gay rights and a double standard. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Don’t display. It might turn some grade school child into a gay!

  • moral of the story… use black and white pictures XD

  • cumswallowerjoe

    I think the ad is very sexy and done in great class way to go guys !!!! Who cares anymore about if your gay or Bi or straight it’s 2011 for god sakes LOVE sees no boundries no matter what race or creed or sex you are NEVER let anybody tell you any thing diffrent SO what if 2 guys have a great kiss or mind blowing sex with each other it’s none of your business anyways if folks start minding thier own business and stay out of everybody eles then you would have no time to worry about anybody eles but your own

    I can’t understand how come gay sex is so taboo in this country gay sex has been around for so many many many many yrs now the Romans had gay sex back then and before then gay sex was around In Eroupe gay sex is not a issue and in some culters you have to have gay sex with your father before your considered to be in your manhood

    Again who cares if your gay / Bi / straight If your happy with your self then that should be the only thing we all live on this earth and we was put here for a reason so make the best of it

    THANKS guys of MH for letting me post this and THANKS everybody for reading it

  • I just went to the link  “an online op ed piece last week”  (above, in story), signed up and left a comment for this nutcase woman.  Some “enlightened feminist”.  Yeah, right.

  • roger

    I kinda somehow relate to that. We had a theme day at the office and I draw cartoon hunks wearing swimwear on a surfboard. It was advised to be removed by the company’s big boss. on that same day they were advertising an underwear sale on our projector of a female wearing panties. How weird is that? It’s all abt sexual preference bias.

  • Studpup00

    The ‘Jump’ referred to is IF you were looking at the list of articles at the manhunt daily page at:, and the JUMP takes you to more of the article.   That is why usually the first picture is more Friendly.

  • alex

    at first i was going to sympathise but then i thought this a great way to stir controvesy and get attention. For the record i disapprove of both the straight and gay ads since kids are being exposed to sex way to early these days whether it be gay or straight. Why couldn’t u guys just put a hot male model on the ad and underneath in cool text effects ice blue preferably put ‘manhunt the place for hot hookups’ and made the male model kind of blurred on one side surrounded by flames. Also u guys should launch a complaint about the straight ad.

  • alex

    and i’m reading the foxnews reactions to barney frank retiring, and all the fear of barney being gay

  • Sadly the reality is that a gay kiss to some is like hetero sex to others… or even worse. I’ve witnessed Amazon’s Kindle yank down explicit gay material so fast it would make your head spin but gladly leave up comparable if not MORE explicit hetero material because there are women in it and, ya know, there’s apparently nothing wrong with a naked chick getting banged. I may not be the popular opinion here but when homophobic hetero men run the world, this is also the shit we get so don’t just blame the ‘enlightened feminist’. Point the finger equally. 🙂 [Although that bitch does need to get her shit together]

  • alex

    and from the glee over there its clear gayness is still a misunderstood concept

  • Fannypack12342

    The picture itself is fine but advertising sex on your phone may be a bit much. JMO

  • Chantboy

    HATE HATE HATE the fact that when I try to load on my iPad in Safari it automatically switches to Mobile – totally sucks, but because Mobile does not have all the bugs worked out yet.  Clicking on a guy’s link sometimes (often) brings me to the “Guys Online Now” page instead.  Sucks big-time guys, fix it!

  • Jesus1245

    I have to say if this was posted here in puerto rico it would have been taken down by the church in no times but I actualy find it quite tasteful cause I dont see the ad I see the art behind it

  • Brisbanite

    i wouldn’t worry about it, just don’t let them take the ads down like the adshell advertising here in brisbane that were taken down after only 30 people complained, and the ads were promoting safe sex, the Australian Christian Lobby were the group, I’m just wondering if they would rather promote unsafe practices.

  • I didn’t even bother signing up. I just emailed her directly using the link at the top of the article!



  • Batman4oz

    Further proof that 98% of what is Wrong with this planet is caused by Straight People.  I will be So glad when WE take over…in the alternate reality of my mind, I’m afraid.


  • haha

    uh………..seems to be that the ad was designed to be provocative/cause controversy. so i guess you got the desired result?

  • haha


  • I see them in LA and at first I thought it was a promo for some Gay Love story, from afar. Funny I thought oh a Gay Love story… Awesome and then I saw the ManHunt logo and thought that’s bold and ballsy.  And said it’s About Time!!! More Companies should follow suit. We Are Here and get over it.. It’s only SEX! Big Deal..

  • DavidJ1988

    I’m certainly not against MH advertising publicly; after all, MH is a business, and advertisement and revenue are a part of any business. However, if I saw an ad for the mobile version of some straight equivalent of the MH website, and they used similar imagery, I’d find that just as tasteless as I find this ad. In this instance, the problem isn’t that the ad is showing “gay” sexuality, but that it’s showing overt sexuality in general.

    When it comes to this woman’s complaint, I think a billboard ad for MH Mobile could easily be designed that would get the point of the service across to adults, but be subtle enough not to elicit those awkward questions from children.

    Bottom line, I don’t care to see blatant sexuality in ads like this in public, be it gay, straight, or whatever the fuck you are. If I want to see two people getting cozy with each other, I’ll go watch porn on my website of choice, where it’s my decision to view that material rather than having it suddenly set in front of me on a peaceful drive to school/work/cult meeting, etc. Then again, I guess I’m just old fashioned… even if I am just 23.

  • Frezetti

    The problem is not with the images.  The problem is what it’s advertising– sex hookups.  So in a way, I agree that it’s not appropriate for the general public, but I don’t necessarily condemn it.  I’d feel the same way if it were advertising a hetero hookup site. It’s just not the right ad venue for that.

  • Osric

    Yeah, advertising a sex hookup site is a bit different than advertising undies. I don’t think the images on the ad are the problem — like booze, it’s the product.

  • Kale1hawaii

    I’ve gotta say with all the sexy racy ads for the breeders all over the TV and Radio Dials it sucks that folks would have any issue about these rather tame ads! Just goes to show how puritanical this country still is!
    We’re here We’re Queer the the F**K over it!

  • guest

    I just want to know who these models are!

  • Chris

    Posters are awful. Shame on you