|The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives / Materials / Records / Inventories|
|Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press|
|Page 15 of 40 / Appx 510 words / 2 images|
Page 15 / Inventory Series 7
The Body Politic began -- intentionally -- without an advertising base. It was only in Issue 4 (May / Jun 1972) that commercial ads first appeared -- with a collective editorial noting that "We shall not accept ads we consider representative of businesses which promote sexism, or whose ads are exploitative in appearance."
Many early ads were movement-related; then and later, they were often run free. Early commercial advertisers included theatres; travel agents; stores for clothes, personal grooming or household goods; and other small businesses, often gay- owned.
Bars, baths and discos (with baths coming first) became a major part of TBP's ad base only by the early 1980s, reflecting the growth of Toronto's openly gay commercial scene. Major corporate advertising was effectively non- existent in TBP; it did not show up significantly even in Xtra until the mid-1990s.
Advertising policy remained a matter of contention throughout most of The Body Politic's history. Collective minutes (see Policies, planning and budgetting) record debates on allowable imagery, content, and the percentage of both page space and total revenue commercial advertising should be allowed to represent.
Some of these debates made it to print. See This Issue -- a column letting readers in on some of TBP's internal workings -- in # 41 (Mar 1978), # 48 (Nov 1978) and # 68 (Nov 1980); and the Red Hot Video debate spanning Issues 94-96 (Jun - Sep 1983). In the Dec 1978 / Jan 1979 issue, we even reported a debate about The Body Politic's own advertising for itself (see Promotion).
Ad sales were usually handled part-time by collective members (by the early '80s as members of paid staff) who devoted most of their energies to other parts of the operation. In-house graphic work on ads (of which there was a great deal) was done by production staff and volunteers whose main job was to put together TBP (and later Xtra) itself. No staff were assigned solely to advertising work until the mid-1980s.
Over the years, an ever-increasing percentage of the Press's total revenues came from commercial advertisers. This trend was dramatically affected by the 1984 launch of Xtra, distributed free and meant to be entirely dependent on ad sales. From early 1987 to mid-1993, Xtra was PTP's only publication. The Press began developing other revenue sources in 1990, with the launch of its own phone- line chat and classified ad services.
TBP/PTP Inventory Intro /
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