The Genitalia Dialogues

By Gh Published on .

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Gale Ahrens, a Chicago-based performance artist and a former ad creative, co-wrote a play - with a Catholic priest-turned-sex therapist - entitled Penis' Response to the Vagina Muse, which explores the often rocky relationship between the sexes from a man's perspective. "Think of it as an answer to The Vagina Monologues," she says. When she recently sought an agency to promote the local production, she encountered the same sex-charged issues covered in the work itself. Her first stop, Wojdyla & Partners, a Chicago agency known for its controversial promotions of biomedical research, rejected the business along gender lines. President David Wojdyla was prepared to handle the assignment, but "It just felt angry to me," says managing partner Gayle Dieck. "A play for angry men." No deal. But after The Chicago Sun-Times picked up the story, local agencies, including several female-led shops, began vying for the $250,000 account. "I was surprised by the level of interest," says Ahrens. "Pleasantly surprised." The winners, appropriately enough, were two men from BBDO/Chicago working via Hardware, a new division of the agency that allows rank-and-file creatives to creative-direct small accounts. Within limits. "The account didn't get an immediate 'yea' from our ECD," says BBDO creative Dave Kwasnik. Once it did, it was tempered by a restriction. "No big-dick jokes," says Kwasnik. Another ad is headlined, "Finally, a play that treats men and broads as equals." (
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