Losing the Aveda account.

One of our regular commenters has a funny one in the post below about newspaper ad policies:

I have in my possession a deeply hilarious list of prohibited words from from my newspaper’s ad manager after an adult entertainment ad containing the phrase “golden shower�? actually made it into print.

Here are some of the prohibited terms:

body shampoo
body scrubs
body rubs

The memo concludes, “If you have any advertisers currently using any of these terms, please inform them of our change in policy.�?

All this as a setup to point to a letter I wrote to Romenesko today. Someone at the Louisville Courier-Journal changed Ray Nagin’s “chocolate city” comment to “predominantly African-American.” And the paper’s dumb ol’ readers thought this was worse than the original remark — go figure.

UPDATE: My old colleague and near-roommate Jeff Borden chimes in with his recollection of the Day Readers Were Spared Andy Capp’s Ass.

Posted at 2:14 pm in Uncategorized |

15 responses to “Losing the Aveda account.”

  1. brian stouder said on January 23, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    OK – so “MILF” threw me. I went to a website I bookmarked long ago –


    and I suspect it is the 4th one – but who knows?

    For the record, if I was in charge of newspaper advertising, I would accept “golden shower” (et al) because, as metaphors go, it is almost poetic.

    But I’d make them pay more to say such a thing

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  2. John said on January 23, 2006 at 2:55 pm


    Brian…view the film “American Pie”….all questions will be answered.

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  3. Dorothy said on January 23, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    Great letter. And I’m oh so glad to say I already knew what “MILF” was. Thanks to me asking my son about it roughly 18 months ago. He did hem and haw a little before he told me, but I was persuasive enough that he had to tell me.

    Which is not to say I was not momentarily speechless by the explanation.

    Josh used another word in my presence a while ago that I was unfamiliar with: choad. I was equally repulsed by that definition.

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  4. nancy said on January 23, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Moro Islamic Liberation Front — yes. that’s correct.

    What I’m interested in about things like this is how quickly they move into the general lexicon. “Milf,” as a one-syllable word, is certainly a more compact way to say, “An attractive, sexy woman over 35.” And by making it an acronym, you don’t have to say the dirty word, but everyone knows what you’re talking about.

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  5. brian stouder said on January 23, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    “And by making it an acronym, you don’t have to say the dirty word, but everyone knows what you’re talking about.”

    I love acronyms; probably owing to Proceedings magazine (which I have subscribed to for a decade and a half) –


    Nobody does acronyms with such gusto as the US military.

    Poetic ones and utilitarian ones abound – J-STARS, SLAM ER, AWACS, HARM, AMRAAM, T-LAM, LAMPS, C-SAR, STOM, JSF, COTS, and HMMWV (good ol’ Hummer)….come to think of it, that’s probably what prompted the bookmark to the acronym site in the first place

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  6. Danny said on January 23, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    And of course there are the unofficial military ones like, SNAFU, FUBAR and REMF.

    Back in the 90’s, when the first PCMCIA cards came out, PC-Mag promptly came up with the mneumonic, People Can’t Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms.

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  7. brian stouder said on January 23, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    I liked the one from St Elsewhere emergency room – when a patient was a GOMER

    (get out of my emergency room)

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  8. mary said on January 23, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    My fave is FLA. Four letter acronym.

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  9. mary said on January 23, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    By the way, that list of forbidden words looked like the notes from a Bill O’Reilly phone conversation. All that is missing is falafel.

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  10. alex said on January 23, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    One of the reasons I dropped out of agency advertising portfolio school was my enormous ignorance of the English language.

    One time the assignment was to create a magazine slick or billboard for A Pea in the Pod, a high-end maternity retailer. One student’s effort was hailed as utterly brilliant, although I had no idea what it meant, nor did I have the nerve to ask the cheering throngs.

    The headline: GOT MILF?

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  11. Nance said on January 23, 2006 at 8:37 pm

    That’s because, Alex, you’ve never met an M you’d like to F.

    I mean, to put it bluntly.

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  12. alex said on January 23, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    Nance — Or met a twenty-something I could get to third base with in spite of the language barrier.

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  13. mary said on January 24, 2006 at 1:04 am

    Just think, there wouldn’t be any MILFs if Shelley Winters hadn’t invented that word.

    It all ties in, doesn’t it.

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  14. Mindy said on January 24, 2006 at 9:56 am

    Newsweek magazine used to publish buzzwords unique to different professions. It was the first thing flip to when the new issue arrived at the library where I worked. Someone working in a bridal shop who spoke about facing an angry MOB meant that yet another mother of the bride had been in to raise hell. Wish I could remember more than that out of the dozens I read.

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  15. alex said on January 24, 2006 at 10:33 am

    Just hear a new one this morning–about a boss who’s a “See You Next Tuesday.”

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