The swimsuit issue turns 30 in 1994, surely old enough to recognize that this is an unfair double standard.

The same magazine that says this about its annual swimsuit issue, "...the vast majority of our readers find it to be tasteful, informative and entertaining" is now saying this about the canceled Adidas ad, "...We just didn't feel it was appropriate." B.J. Del Conte, who bills himself as Canada's premier sports broadcaster summed it up best when he said, "...Sports Illustrated's self-ascension to the moral high ground is laughably pathetic."

"...You won't believe it, but SI is upset because skin is showing. There is one big difference. This time it's male skin. Yep, the same magazine that has women bouncing on the beach in dimples and dental floss, is in a snit over beefcake. Sports Illustrated has banned an Adidas ad from its Canadian edition....Adidas says SI banned the ad because the magazine is sexist-it doesn't believe in equal exposure for the sexes."

"Hey, Lighten up Sports Illustrated"
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 19, 1993
Elaine Viets

In their national ad, Adidas said,
"Your team won't be taken seriously if it's not wearing Adidas."

Adidas ad featuring Canadian Soccer League players
The Associated Press, July 5, 1993, The News & Observer

"In the SI swimsuit section, the words have little connection with the photos. The Adidas ad actually has a flimsy excuse for its male nudity...Here's another way naked soccer men make more sense than naked swimsuit women. There's nothing prurient in the guys' pose. It's a traditional team photo, except for the missing uniforms."
"Hey, Lighten up Sports Illustrated"
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 19, 1993
Elaine Viets

"...By refusing to run the now-famous campaign, Sports Illustrated underlined one of our culture's most enduring double standards."
"Taking the wraps off male nudity in advertising"
Globe & Mail, July 14, 1993
Shari Graydon

According to Phil Newsome, account director for Young and Rubicam, the Toronto advertising agency that created the ad, "'Sports Illustrated told us they weren't going to run it because it wasn't in keeping with the magazine.' But Newsome said he didn't understand the decision from the company that so vigorously promotes its swimsuit edition, 'with lots of scantily-clad women'. Doug Hayes, marketing vice-president for the agency 'accused SI of having a double standard...'" excerpted from a June 29, 1993 article in The Toronto Sun.

to Best and the Worst Part II