When we started DEVELOP3D, we took some decisions early on that have guided the course of the publications’ development and progress over the last two years. From the feedback, readers like it and like it a lot. But as ever, you can’t always please everyone and we’re used to occasionally getting a message or a letter from readers unhappy with the things we’ve done, the way we’ve covered a subject and the content we produce – that’s all fair and a core part of what makes this job interesting. If enough people get in touch and espouse a view on a subject that’s contrary to what we’ve written or covered, then it means that we can steer future content in a more satisfactory direction. We’re always not afraid to say what we think. I did so recently when I asked about Autodesk’s use of specific imagery on the splash screen on their SketchBook Pro for the iPad (You can read all about it here). it seems that my views, from the feedback we got both publically and privately mean that I was in the minority and perhaps making a big deal over very little – I’m comfortable with my thoughts and more than happy to discuss them anytime.
Today we got a letter from a reader that’s clearly unhappy with some that appeared in the magazine. Specifically, a advertisement appearing on the fourth page of the May issue of the magazine.
The email read:
Sent: 19 May 2010 12:14
To: Alan Cleveland
Subject: THE MAY 2010 ISSUE
Hi, I’ve just opened the May 2010 issue, and became concerned as the rear
end of a woman was exposed to me via an advertisement, some would say art,
but surely the magazine is not an art museum. Very inappropriate, what if I
had children, or my young brother saw, what I saw. You should keep in mind
moral standards, the world is falling apart because of the love of money
over the happiness of others, correct me if I’m wrong. Surely people would
have known that any age group could be able to see the magazine, as it’s
not got any indication of parental advisory, or that the content is not
suitable for children. If I’m a big problem, and what I’ve stated is
rubbish, then can you blame yourself(the magazine), or people for aiding in
the moral decay in the UK?
To be honest, I was surprised say the least. So I wrote back to the reader to tell him my thoughts, as below:
Thanks for your email – always delighted to hear from readers for good or ill.
I was somewhat taken aback as we take the greatest of care with our publications to ensure that they’re of the highest quality possible and that our readers enjoy them, gain some value from the investment of time they spend reading them and hopefully put that knowledge they gain into practice in industry.
I grabbed a copy of the magazine to try and find the offending buttocks in the magazine and despite a pretty extensive search, I couldn’t find them (or should that be singular? never too sure). I did wonder if you were referring in some oblique way to my face on page 3. Thankfully, it seems not as my colleague pointed out that the offending image appeared on page 4. Again, I looked and couldn’t spot it. Then I noticed the image to which you’re referring.
Yes. A pair of computer generated buttocks.
To be frank *****, if you’re offended by buttocks appearing in a magazine at a print size of approximately 10mm tall, I’m sorry, but I don’t really feel the need to apologise.
Yes, it maybe inappropriate for the advertiser to use such imagery to promote a graphics acceleration device, but personally I don’t think that we’re contributing to the moral decay in the country or more grandly, the world at large. It’s a pair of buttocks. Almost everyone has two each.
Let me ask you this.
Are buttocks the root cause all that’s wrong in this world?
Are you suggesting that by not showing our buttocks (Computer Generated or otherwise), we can cure the things I see on a daily basis, the greed, the corruption, the pain and misery and injustice in this world that make this a less than perfect world?
I would really hope not. I’m not one to suggest how anyone else should spend their time, but I would consider that devoting your time to assisting with fighting these things, rather than sending emails to publishers of technical publications, it would be time better spent.
Fight poverty. Fight racism and ignorance. Fight unfairness and social inequality.
Let’s not fight the buttocks eh *****?
They’ve done very little to harm us and I don’t see why they should take all the blame.
Editor-in-Chief + Co Founder
So, there you have it. I know that we can’t please everyone all of the time, but the idea that someone might find this sort of advertising offensive is perfectly understandable. But the questions I asked the reader in the email are valid. Do these sorts of images help promote a technical device, software or a solution or do you, the reader, find them wrong, offensive or a bit silly? I’m curious to know. Are you offended by buttocks? Do you think that buttocks are the source of all that’s wrong in the world?
Hit the comments if you dare.