Advertising Age observed that Cindy Gallop thinks the Businessweek cover image depicted above looks like a Fleshlight. This is not surprising at all. The old woman clearly has more familiarity with such devices than she does with the modern advertising industry. She’d be quick to bitch and moan, however, if an adman had publicly made a similar observation.
We’re Not Commenting On This Vaguely Disturbing Bloomberg Businessweek Cover (But Cindy Gallop Did)
No, this is not a product from Interactive Life Forms
By Ad Age and Creativity Staff
The Dec. 16 Bloomberg Businessweek cover has been out for a bit—it was released on social media late last week, collecting a few WTF-type comments along the way—and we weren’t going to say what we at first thought it was meant to depict.
But then ad-industry icon and Make Love Not Porn founder Cindy Gallop just went right ahead, on Twitter, last night:
A Fleshlight, for the uninitiated, is a masturbation device. It’s the best-selling and arguably the best-marketed such device in history, along with its sibling product, the Fleshjack, for gay men. Both the Fleshlight and Fleshjack deploy so-called Fleshlight Girls and Fleshjack Boys—which are basically endorsement deals with major porn stars, whose relevant body parts are apparently plaster-cast molded and recreated in orifice-in-a-can form to be sold to, uh, enthusiasts for $79.95. The Fleshlight and Fleshjack are canister-like and uncap (to expose the flesh-colored thing inside), just like the device shown on Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover.
In case you were wondering, Interactive Life Forms (ILF), the Austin, Texas-based maker of Fleshlights and Fleshjacks, does not have an endorsement deal with Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa—who is not a porn star and also has no actual body parts to plaster-cast. Not even an ear, which is what that thing in Bloomberg Businessweek’s canister (an Amazon Echo device) is actually supposed to be.
In September, Vice (of course) called the Fleshlight “ubiquitous” in a story headlined “The Fleshlight Is a Portal to the Future of Sex,” which notes that ILF has sold more than 15 million Fleshlights/Fleshjacks since the company launched more than 20 years ago.
Incidentally, Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover story, “Silicon Valley Is Listening to Your Most Intimate Moments,” will make you realize that if you do own a Fleshlight or Fleshjack, you should maybe unplug Alexa before using it.