Call me a prude, but I agree with those who say that the suit-as-aphrodisiac ad was inappropriate for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, as reported today in The Boston Globe and noted at the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. MLW’s editor, Dave Yas, initially called critics of the ad “a bunch of self-important prudes.” (The Globe is running a poll on whether the ad is too risque, so you can weigh in with your own opinion.)
I was the editor of MLW for five years from 1987 to 1991, when I moved up to launch Lawyers Weekly USA (now Lawyers USA). I have no further connection to the paper, but to me, this dust-up has nothing to do with prudishness and has everything to do with knowing and respecting your readers. Something I believe strongly in publishing is the need to consistently stay on mission — remember who buys your paper and why. This may mean rejecting a quick shot of revenue. But your paper will be healthier and wealthier in the long run if you always put your readers first.