|The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives / Materials / Records / Inventories|
|Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press|
|Page 19 of 40 / Appx 750 words / 2 images|
Page 19 / Inventory Series 11
The earliest form of promotion for The Body Politic was exchange ads in other gay and alternative publications, with which TBP also exchanged free subscriptions. Some records of these efforts are included in Series 9, Subscriptions, as is much material on subscription renewals, another major form of promotion. Efforts to secure retail outlets are in Series 10, Distribution.
Some promotional material also appears in Series 25, Posters and artwork. These pieces were often part of larger campaigns, sometimes including stickers meant for lampposts and billboards. (For instance, a "teaser" sticker campaign was done to launch Xtra in 1984.) But I didn't locate much evidence of these campaigns for the 1988 Inventory, making the accession listings below rather thin.
Other promo bits are scattered throughout the collection -- as recycled paper, with memos and carbon copies of letters on the back.
Attempts to run ads for TBP in mainstream media often caused contention.  In fact, the refusal of major newspapers to carry even small and innocuous classified ads for gay groups and publications became one of the central organizing issues for the gay movement all across Canada in the 1970s.  Big media outlets did later (if unintentionally) promote The Body Politic -- in extensive coverage of its legal battles. 
Paid promotion (not free exchange ads) to attract subscribers was occasionally done in the glossier gay press -- with generally underwhelming response. 
All promotional material for TBP and the Press was produced in-house, designed and written mostly by Merv Walker (up to 1978), Rick Bébout (thereafter) and Gerald Hannon (throughout). We created a vast array of ads for subscriptions, books, volunteer recruitment and donations to the Press. We also did the ads in TBP for The Body Politic Free the Press Fund (see Series 21: Legal defence).
All this work can be seen in the pages of The Body Politic itself -- as can occasional critiques of it: the Nov 1978 subscription ad at the top of this page led to a collective debate reported in the next issue.  Ads seeking money directly for the Press (not for its legal defence) are listed on the Fundraising page, as potential snapshots of the Press's financial state over time.
A complaint filed in Nov 1974 by the Gay Alliance Toward Equality against the Vancouver Sun, for refusal to run a classified for its paper, Gay Tide, became by May 1979 the first gay rights case to be heard before the Supreme Court of Canada.
For more see: "Victories and defeats: A gay and lesbian chronology 1964-1982" in
Flaunting It!; and Don McLeod's Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada
-- both listed in this Inventory under Other sources of
information: Published material. See also extensive coverage of these
events in TBP itself: Don McLeod's book gives references to specific issues of TBP
through 1975; relevant dates are given in Flaunting It! to mid-1982.
Back to place in text See the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives' extensive files of clippings from non- gay media, particularly for reports on TBP's trials and verdicts (circa: Dec 30, 1977; Jan 5, 1978; week of Jan 2, 1979; Feb 14, 1979; May 31 - Jun 3, 1982; Jun 15, 1982; and Nov 1, 1982).
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