It’s tough when your chief product is print-based. Tougher still when its main drawcard is women in bikinis.
So hats of to fabled US magazine Sports Illustrated for continuing to try and drag the brand into the 21st century.
The magazine’s publishers have just announced its “Pay With Change” initiative that says advertisers must have “demonstrated programs to advance gender equality and drive progress for women’s empowerment” to buy ads in both the print issue and online outlets.
Apparently the initiative only relates to the magazine’s famous annual swimsuit edition.
“SI Swimsuit has always been a launchpad for the women it features. Now it’s a launchpad for progress for all women,” the brand said. The change will go into effect starting with the 2022 issue, which comes out in May.
Prospective advertisers will need to demonstrate that they are creating change for women and also supporting gender equality.
If they can do that successfully, the brands will be certified as “Changemakers” and can then create ads specifically for the Swimsuit Issue and and its website which showcase those efforts.
The magazine’s female editor-in-chief MJ Day said: “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has been leading the charge in creating change in women’s lives for years, despite what some critics and naysayers would like you to believe.
“However, in a world where women’s bodies are under attack and their value is continuously underestimated, we knew we needed to act in a bold, more responsible way. Pay With Change is not just a platform to us, it is our commitment to creating greater progress for women.”
To its credit, the magazine has diversified in recent year and worked hard to show a diverse cast of models of different body types, races, ages, and even gender identities.
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