Cosmopolitan tones down ads in Australia

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SYDNEY -- Hearst Magazines International's young women's magazine Cosmopolitan, notorious for complaints about its risque advertising before Australia's self-regulatory complaints body was disbanded last December, has moved to become "sensual rather than in-your-face sexy" according to Clemenger BBDO Creative Director Mike Thomas. Cosmo is mounting a $400,000 10-day promotion of its 52-page "all about men" bonus magazine attached to the May issue which hit newsstands on April 11.In one of two 30 second TV commercials, a naked man sitting up in a crisply made bed adopts female mannerisms and talks in a woman's voice about the male body before peeping beneath the sheet.In the other, a woman, also sitting in bed, speaks in a male voice about how she has learned to think like a man after reading the May bonus issue.A Clemenger spokeswoman concedes the relatively mild ads are a shift away from the past. "We know that sex sells, but it is the way you project it," she says. "We're trying to project an image that is more sensual, that Cosmo is for the more sophisticated reader."In contrast, Cosmo's April campaign showed a young woman lying back in a lounge chair, approving or disapproving various sexual aids that her partner had presented to her.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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