29 August, 2011


Sex sells

I was wandering round Waterstone's — yes, Edwin does visit and even patronize commercial emporia other than Wetherspoon's and Sainsbury's — when I saw this on promotion

and I found myself wondering whom this rather cheesecaky cover image is aimed at. Christmas-shopping mums who are not sure whether they'd like to shag Brian or mother him, perhaps. Mebbe he'll fit both roles: despite his gamin looks, our Brian (who is a Chadderton lad so I will hear nothing said against) is actually 43.

Of course there might be an alternative audience. Perhaps Comrade Putin, He-man of the Soviet Union, might appreciate a copy.

But the other thought which immediately came to mind as I walked past the display was of a series of Carol Vorderman-sponsored GCSE revision books which used to be on sale in Smith's about a decade ago. Carol and her advisers have obviously thought better of the strategy and current editions feature a chaste head and shoulders photograph: Carol is careful these days to separate her arse-of-the-year telly milf persona from her celeb schoolmarm image. But the earlier version, of which unfortunately I have been unable to find an online image, featured our Carol smiling up at the camera and showing off a serious amount of peekaboo cleavage. Tsk!

Sex sells, but only when it's all done in the best possible taste, of course.

As the book is published by our Great National Institution I cannot accept that this is a case of crass commercialism. If our Brian is on the cover it is because he is the most wondrous entity in the universe.

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