Targeted ads differ for men and women

A friend of mine pointed something interesting out to me the other day about targeted ads on MySpace. When I sign on to MySpace, which is very rarely these days, I’m greeted with ads for online dating, phone companies, and video gaming. She on the other hand is greeted with ads that almost entirely consist of weight loss products.

Companies are certainly free to accept whatever advertising they choose, but I have to say that this seems to be bad for women. The constant barrage of ads preying on body image issues is not healthy. Here’s a breakdown of the headlines in ads women see on MySpace:

Becky’s lose 44 pounds
Lose 37 pounds
Are you fat?
Try Acai Lose 50 pounds
Acrai Beri Diet
I lost 24 pounds fast. I was bloated and felt really disgusting
High School Musical 3 (Disney)
Fit into your Skinny Jeans
The Acai Diet featured on Rachel Ray and Oprah
Diet of the Year

And now what men see on MySpace:

Burger King
Pimp your Profile (gaming)
Meet Kristy
AT&T Fast and Furious
Meet Girls Tonight
Best Western

Ironically, the only ad that appears on both gender profiles is one for Burger King.

I’m sure that all online social networking sites target ads differently for men and women. FaceBook is probably no better than MySpace. Both men and women have self esteem issues that can be easily preyed upon by advertisers. But it seems to me to be very out of balance.

I’ve been considering canceling my MySpace account for all kinds of reasons and this certainly isn’t making me want to stay.

Oh and the photography on these ads for women is pretty bad as well.

Any thoughts out there?

And since this is a photography blog, here’s a new photograph I made while I was in Paris last April. I made it whle I was getting ready to photograph the Hotel Regina and I looked over the ledge into the Jardin des Tuileries and saw a beautiful empty path.

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