#MeToo Movement Is Changing Even Raciest Advertisers

Using outrageous words and images could now be bad for business.

Previously, ad companies would use racy pictures to get clicks. The #MeToo movement has changed that. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

Back in 2016, nonprofit watchdog National Center on Sexual Exploitation sent a letter to RevContent to slam the a fast-growing content marketing network for the way it featured women. The marketing network frequently featured close-ups of women’s breasts or ran ads for mail-order bride services. NCOSE did not get a response for 18 months — until after the Harvey Weinstein scandal helped change the public discourse.

Last fall, RevContent’s founder and CEO, John Lempe, reached out for help in how to reduce the racy ads. Lempe credits the birth of his second daughter for his sudden desire to clean up the company, reports Wired. But he also referenced the #MeToo movement as a reason for the start-up’s newfound “wokeness.”

While these reasons sound good to the public, there is another reason RevContent and places like it need to clean up their act: premium advertisers are growing increasingly wary about material that surfaces near their brands on the web. Laying off the cleavage shots, as Wired puts it, is in fact a marketing opportunity. Previously, in an attempt to get anyone’s click — and compete with Google and Facebook — marketing companies had to use questionable tactics, like outrageous headlines and salacious photos. But now, companies are worried their ads will display on the same screen as hate speech or pornography, reports Wired. 

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.