COMMENTARY: Some recent Herald advertisements inappropriate

Andrew Fultz

I am an avid reader of the Herald and have mostly been impressed with the quality of the paper. In the last two weeks, though, I have had to scratch my head and ask the question, “Why?”

My first “Why?” the other day was, “Why does the Herald feel it appropriate to gain advertising money from an Adult Bookstore with the tagline ‘Come in and get a free DVD’?”

I understand that individuals attending WKU are adults and thus may make adult decisions. I have nothing against sexuality or sexual curiosity for adults. However, I feel there is a bit of a disconnect here. Would WKU put up a banner on the baseball field for the same Adult Bookstore? I would think not.

It is also my understanding that students are not allowed to look at pornography on school-owned computers, but it’s okay to have a free DVD? This seems a bit off. The advertisement simply made me pause, but it is not a deal breaker for me as a reader. I just don’t think it was up to par for the level that I know the Herald can play.

My second “Why?” came with the Shenanigans ad. Why does the Herald (or Shenanigans) feel it necessary to have the leprechaun throwing up on the ground with the tag line “Drown those back-to-school sorrows away?”

At this I find myself having to take great pause for three reasons.

Was it necessary to insinuate that individuals should get so intoxicated that they would have to vomit? Does the Herald not realize the long-standing issue of alcohol abuse and misuse on college campuses across the country? Does the Herald not understand that there are those on this and other campuses who are impressionable enough to fail to realize that drinking to the point of illness is not healthy and not acceptable, not to mention that most college students are not 21 and older?

Now, I am not against establishments who serve alcohol, such as bars, pubs or even Shenanigans advertising in the paper. Though the adult bookstore made me pause, it was not enough for me to really have that great of a problem.

Yet, I have to see this second bit of advertising blunder as a reoccurring theme. Yes, the picture is funny and humorous, and I think I understand what the piece of advertising is trying to do, but we are an educated people. I must point out that the advertisement brings up a valid argument: Is it in the best interest of the students?

My reader loyalty stands with the Herald; I feel this paper, and journalism as a whole, must be protected, supported and encouraged. I just think we could be doing better. 

Andrew Fultz

Graduate assistant, social work department

This commentary doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the Herald or the university.