Ho, Ho, Ho: Manhunt Puts Billboard In Times Square

We New Yorkers usually loathe the throngs of tourists who invade the Big Apple around the holidays. But this Christmas we hope there are more of them than ever—so they all can see the big, juicy billboard Manhunt has placed in Times Square!

The ad, one of several rotating promos that share the same billboard near the southeast corner of Broadway and 47th Street, is promoting the company’s new mobile service. Yes, the “zero feet away” reference will probably go over Jimmy Joe and Betty Sue’s heads, but the sweaty, hot dudes in dog tags about to make out is pretty unmistakable.

We can’t wait for some annoying sexphobic mommy blogger to complain about this.

Image via Linda Simpson

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  • Austin - not That Austin

    I’m all for gay equal rights,
    and the Ad in question would be hot if placed on Queerty.
    But this billboard is tacky for a public square….very poor taste,
    reflecting poorly on our community.
    come to think of it…..all billboards are tacky.

  • silversunj.u.e.92

    O.o… Is that the old World Trade Center Twin Towers at the left of the background?

  • Mike in Asheville

    @silversunj.u.e.92: Times Square is in mid town; the World Trade Center is down town — several miles part. Manhattan is a pretty big place with lots of tall towers, and in this case, the building in the background doesn’t actually look at all like the fallen towers, architecture wise, except being tall.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Austin – not That Austin: While I do agree that ALL billboards are somewhat tacky, I disagree that this one is any more tacky than any other billboard using sex to sell its message. This billboard does not reflect badly on our community except to those small-minded folk who are homophobic bigots.

  • Marie Cohn

    Who, pray, WHO will think of the children?!

  • Jonathonz

    While I’m all for putting an image of two men being intimate into such a public forum I hate to have a service such as Manhunt, which provides a way for gay men to have anonymous one night stands, advertised in the straight community. This just serves to highlight the segment of our community that indulges in anonymous sex. It’s important that we start portraying ourselves in the media as more than that. A great many of us are in committed long-term relationships and it’s important for us to get that message out there.

  • Pete n SFO

    They’ll get lots of press. It does reinforce a specific over-used stereotype about gay men… but is it really any different than any other advertising out there?

    Victoria’s Secret, A&F, Aqua di Gio, etc…

    Open your eyes for images validating heterosexuality and they are SO ubiquitous that you don’t even notice them. But this 1 image will be equated with indoctrination, demise of society, etc.

    That uncomfortable feeling you have about the ‘in your face’ quality of the ad is your own homophobia… dig deeper, girls. You are worthy.

    Every kiss begins with K… KY, maybe! lol

  • Aviel Allen Gillian

    San Francisco is so much better

  • QJ201

    Do we really need to advertise Manhunt? I mean don’t we all already know? Who is the target market in Times Square? Closeted or Bisexual married guys going to the theater with their family?

  • Ian

    @Austin – not That Austin: Lots of billboards are tacky, for sure. But this one is no more sexual or tasteless than the abundant hetero-focused billboards we have to see all the time. Heteronormative marketing and advertising is all around us. No reason not to include gay-focused ads such as this one.

  • rj

    I think its a bit too much for the public square–just like a topless dude and woman would be. Not sure I’ve seen a heterosexual equivalent and I don’t think I’d really want to. The message is a sad commentary on dating in the 21st century. However, I support their right to place it there.

  • chuck

    Less skin than most CK billboards by a long shot.

  • Wow

    Aren’t we jumping to conclusions?

    I see one hot & oiled friend embracing another equally hot & oiled friend who just returned from war. They lost contact, but thanks to manhunt, they found each other. That reminds me, i got a few war vet friends i lost in touch with.

  • keoki3

    Really? Like “we” need a billboard to find Manhunt, Grindr, or any other website/app encouraging random, annonymous sex. I’m definitely not a prude, but again – REALLY?

  • Chipsy

    @Jonathonz: Get real – the stereotype and the manhunt app exist for a reason. There ain’t no manhunt for straights

  • comus

    Are HIV and STD infection rates plummeting?

    The image itself is innocuous; it’s attractive and even artful. The problem isn’t the image.

  • billybobo

    new york sucks

  • DB

    Rather disgusting, not because of the photo but because of the product advertised. I would go so far as to say this is perhaps the most homophobic ad I have seen in a while.

  • Panserbjorne

    This billboard makes it look like a lot of gay men are just shallow whores looking for a hook-up. And surprise–a lot of gay men ARE just shallow whores looking for a hook-up. For that matter, so are a lot of straight men and women–but that fact doesn’t exactly make me think more positively about any of those groups.

  • Cinesnatch

    Manhunt has actually been reaching out passed gay neighborhoods. Several billboards went up last month in West Hollywood-adjacent areas like Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

    I thought some posters here brought up good points about what message is being sent. While I understand there is heterosexual advertising out there that is “in your face,” I’ve never seen a hetero ad this zoomed in with no clothing before. But perhaps my objective faculties are blinded by finding the Manhunt ad kind of hot.

    The more interesting question is what profit does Manhunt think it’s going to get on its investment in billboard promotion permeating mostly hetero areas. One would think they wouldn’t have spent the money unless they had good reason to believe it was worth the gamble (i.e. throwing out a wide net).

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Cinesnatch: What do you mean “no clothing”? Can you see beyond where the image cuts off?

  • Cinesnatch

    @David Ehrenstein: There is no clothing in the ad. Whether or not they’re wearing anything is left up to the imagination of the viewer (though, it’s intentionally implied). I’ve never seen a comparable hetero ad ever. Feel free to provide a link of a man and woman photographed in a manner in which no clothing is shown from such a close-up perspective.

  • Tommy Shepherd

    @QJ201: Tourists – especially the millions of overseas tourists who visit Times Square every week. I’m British and back home we all use Gaydar not Manhunt. But last year, after seeing ads for ManHunt all over Chelsea, I got a Manhunt account. So the advertising works.

  • Shungaboy

    I think it’s great that the sight of male on male affection/lust/whatever is getting more visibility. It shouldn’t be shocking to see men kissing or men holding hands. It’s part of who we are, including hook-up sites.

    BTW, the building in the background is one of the 1221 Avenue of the Americas towers.

  • skippyk

    do i think that its awesome to finally see homosexuality represented on billboards???yes i do!!..but Manhunt??..its a hook up site..and anyone who says that you can meet “really great people there blah blah blah” is just trying to avoid the truth in my opinion..had it been a legitimate DATING site i would think this appropriate..but basically this just plays into the stereotype that gay men are ALL about sex..and thats just not true..dont get me wrong..i love a good shag just as much as anyone..but BEING A SLUT IS TACKY AND TIRED!!

  • Isaac C

    @comus: It would be nice if there was statistical information placed in the ad (either like a Surgeon General’s Warning on a pack of cigarettes, or just on a separate billboard very close to it) that shows that HIV infection rates are five times higher in men who have sex with men than any other group. Gay men need to be reminded of what the result of their anonymous and random hook ups will be, and always has been. And yes, the ad is tacky and disgusting, like most of the people who use that service.

  • BrianZ

    The dog tags are a nice touch.

  • tookietookie

    where are the billboards advertising things i actually might use?

  • Allen D.

    @Chipsy: There’s “www.adultfriendfinder”…

    I agree with somewhat with everyone.

    1. I don’t think Manhunt needs to advertise.
    2. I would prefer that it be the community’s ‘dirty little secret’.
    3. I’ve seen plenty of ads featuring a man & a woman going further than this. So, why not us too? Initially it struck me as a bit much… but, well, equality!
    4. I automatically assumed they were still wearing pants.
    5. Of course the same ad with heteros would be considered scandalous — her tits would be showing vs. male shirtlessness, which is common everywhere from swimming pools to cologne commercials.

    That’s what I think about that.

  • Dallas David

    @Austin – not That Austin: I agree.

    Passionate kissing would be out of place for any couple in a lot places, and usually elicits the response, “Get a room!”

    Replace the 2 hot models with a couple of handsome guys appropriately dressed for Times Square walking hand in hand, or looking like they’re happy to meet each other, and that would satisfy both the advertising needs of the company while not raising questions in the minds of “middle america” that we don’t know how to behave in public.

    There’s a place for everything . . .

  • jason

    I don’t approve of this lurid billboard. It promotes the notion that gay men are sex-mad and body-obsessed. It’s a horrible notion.

    ManHunt is using gay men as a marketing ploy, no doubt. Follow the money trail. If I had the power, I’d ban ManHunt from doing this and tell the owners of fuck off.

  • the other Greg

    Oh dear, what will the straights think?

    Jeez, guys, they’re actually about to KISS… that’s a lot classier than 95% of anonymous sex hookups.

    Kissing, how quaint. These two are quite the old-fashioned romantics!

  • jj

    I’m confused. Is this billboard up now? If so, does anyone have a pic? (the photo above is a fake obviously)

  • Ian

    Interesting comments on this thread. Questions of taste aside, it’s really clear that puritanism truly runs deep and is alive and well.

  • Mike UK

    will there be manhunt minions giving out cum rags to passers-by?

  • Sam Glass Jr.

    If you are claiming that you haven’t seen the “heterosexual” equivalent of this billboard, you must not get out…AT ALL.

    Of course, there’s going to be a backlash. As opposed to the “crickets” you hear whenever Perfume Company A uses same said billboard to post the male-on-female softcore porn ad they’ve had the boys at Mad Ave. whip up (literally), to sell their latest musty swill…uh, I mean, FRAGRANCE.

    Although it COULD have been crafted in a way that was more “G”-rated than “PG-13”, I am also aware that no matter what, you will NEVER please everyone…Except to not have the billboard at all. Having said that, my current relationship has lasted nearly two decades, so this isn’t even a product that I or anyone I know would have a use for…

  • Mark

    @Austin – not That Austin: I just wish there was more diversity in body types portrayed in gay ads :(

  • btseven

    This is not the first time a gay themed website has posted billboards in prominent cities. did the same a few years ago. There was one here in Portland Ore. It was met with opposition of course.. but they held their ground and it was up for the entire summer.

  • Zeus

    This is stupid. So a majority of people who are anti-gay in some way largely feel that way because of sexual things pertaining to homosexuality. So, to combat this we’re releasing more or less a sex ad in a public space like times square? As a gay man I think things like Grindr and Manhunt are gross and encourage people to be slutty, so imagine how the tons of straight people are going to feel not only about a sex ad in general, but a gay one. This is not the way to go.

  • newcityspot

    Hanging my head in shame. How will I explain that homos aren’t just sex obsessed perverts, but real, average humans?

  • jp santamaria

    ANYWAY…thanx.. im so happy as an artist with all this controversy.

  • Preston Smith

    After looking at the advertisement, and reading through the commentary, I have to insert my thoughts regarding this. I think many will agree that there is nothing wrong with two men kissing. I don’t have any issue with depicting two men kissing, even shirtless, in Times Square. I do have an issue with the product/service that the picture is being used to promote. A fact of the matter is that this is not an Victoria Secret ad selling lingerie, nor is it an ad for cologne or perfume. This is an ad for an application that is designed to allow gay men to hook-up faster and easier. If this were a billboard for a heterosexual hookup line I think many would see this the same way that those of us with my perspective do. That regardless of whether it be heterosexual or homosexual in nature, an advertisement promoting promiscuity should not be on TV, nor on a public billboard.

  • Seth

    Just in time to piss off NYC’s Orthodox Jews during Channaukah. Mazeltov!

  • Matt


    Hi I’m Matt from the US here to tell you that you’re completely and totally wrong, the US is a regressive backwoods shithole to the point where even the gays themselves are socially conservative moralizing prudes.

  • Mike UK

    when are these companies flogging anything to gay men going to realise that it’s actually a very small number of us that are gym queens, how about putting Mr Average up there for a change and see what reaction you get then!

    YES I can hear the cries now that SEX sells but it tends to be Mr Average that makes the purchases! How many guys who are members of manhunt actually look like the guys on the poster, I would say a very small percentage!

  • jason

    The problem with being a gay or bisexual male is that we have to put up with constant sexual marketing within our scene. Everything that is marketed to us has sex associated with it. Rather than treating us as people with many different aspects, we are assumed to be interested solely in the sex act.

    While it’s true that, as men, we are interested in the sex act, I fear that the constant barrage of marketing to our sexual sides reinforces the homophobe’s view of us. It confirms the notion that we are sexual animals with no morals.

    The people who are doing the marketing are simply in it to make money. They don’t care about our rights. All they care about is their bank accounts.

  • Jacob Leatherberry

    Honestly, Manhunt isn’t an unfeeling corporation. They have a right to sell their product just like Michael Kors or Abercrombie and Fitch, which show men and women (in both homo- and heterosexual scenarios) kissing on billboards, showing LOTS of skin. Unlike most uncaring, community raping corporations in America (Walmart), Manhunt actually does community outreach and educates its community on safer sex practices. Also, they donate money and services to many charitable organizations, such as needed money for LGBT choruses to continue operating.

    Also, there’s TONS more hookup sites for straight people than there are for gay people. Just look at eHarmony, who WON’T match up LGBT people because they’re run by Mormons. Glass Houses, people.

  • DannyB

    A more explicit billboard ad campaign could be called “Twin Towers”.

  • Top to Bottom

    I can’t believe so many of you are using a Manhunt billboard as an excuse to talk smack about New York City. Way to make a sweeping judgement. Gay folk should know better.

  • Isaac C

    NYC is a vile, ghetto, nasty, cramped, smelly, disgusting place that thinks much more of itself than it ever will be. London, Paris, L.A., all superior and much more beautiful places with a higher standard of living. New York is pretty much everything that’s wrong with urban living in the United States: it’s crowded, dirty, rude, and oppressive, with expensive shoebox living to complement all of that. I’m so glad I don’t live there.

    Also, 1 in 5 people there have an STD. Obviously it’s MUCH higher for the gay population.

  • Isaac C

    @Top to Bottom: NYC is a vile, ghetto, nasty, cramped, smelly, disgusting place that thinks much more of itself than it ever will be. London, Paris, L.A., all superior and much more beautiful places with a higher standard of living. New York is pretty much everything that’s wrong with urban living in the United States: it’s crowded, dirty, rude, and oppressive, with expensive shoebox living to complement all of that. I’m so glad I don’t live there.

    Also, 1 in 5 people there have an STD. Obviously it’s MUCH higher for the gay population.

  • benpin wang

    Very proud of the New Yorkers to make this happen. Always good to see how enlightened we have become. More cities please.

  • LeNair Xavier

    As sexually liberated as I (and my blog proves that I) am, I HATE the billboard.

    It’s not even (as some comments say) about the children that bothers me. It’s the fact that those in our community are applauding this billboard (including the author) as if it’s a step forward for the gay community. The FACT is that it’s a step back.

    It’s a step back because it has the (if I’m not mistaken) 1st MAJOR billboard in Times Square showing homosexuality to be one for a website notorious for non-committal sex. THIS plays right into the ideas of right-wing conservatives as to what homosexuals are all about.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….If we are to demand to be treated on the same level as our oppressors, we MUST present ourselves to be not just equal, but better. So this is not a help. Instead, it is a hindrance.

  • Allen D.

    @LeNair Xavier: To be offended by what the billboard depicts doesn’t make sense to me. Again, yes, I don’t love bringing “Manhunt” to the masses. But, if we ARE going to be treated on the same level as our oppressors, we can’t be invisible. Look at all the cologne ads, etc. Heterosexuals are making out on billboards all over the nation (including Utah, no less).

    In order to be equal, we shouldn’t be hidden. That’s where the right-wing conservatives want us to be. Hidden away in a closet.

  • Terry W.

    @Top to Bottom:

    “Way to make a sweeping judgement. Gay folk should know better.” Irony just cancelled out your outrage)

  • Terry W.

    @Top to Bottom:

    “Way to make a sweeping judgement. Gay folk should know better.”.. Irony just cancelled your outrage ).

  • Eric

    Here’s my 2 cents worth – Im a gay man who uses manhunt for occasional sex. I wouldnt go as far as to say it’s “annonymous” or “random” – the intention is always to develop a friendship over time and ongoing dialogue, but those things aside, Hooking up just for sex I dont see as bad , wrong or immoral – providing its waht both men want. Perhaps (as was suggested), Manhunt’s biggest audience for this billboard will not be “gay men” as such, perhaps those who pretend to be straight but enjoy gay sex, or bi guys. Would it be more helpful if there was a new word to distinguish these guys from their more proudly-gay brothers? If we’re trying to return to a world where those who identify as gay are accepted as long as they have life partners, but those not ready to announce their sexuality to the world are shunned (as if it was the business of anyone that they’re not going to share their sexuality with….) – it doesnt sound good. – Having said that, I am a bit of a prude, and have the same reaction as I would feel if it were a scantily dressed hetro couple, or anyone other posers who feel the need to express their love so publicly.

  • Luke Thoms

    Amazing thing about gays is that that’s all they care about: THEMSELVES and their “rights”. This sign promotes promiscuity and the spread of AIDS.

  • LeNair Xavier

    @Allen D.: It doesn’t make sense to you because you’re not seeing the big picture.

    I would have no problem with the billboard later on down the line when our visibility has been better established to be about more than casual sex. But since that time has not yet arrived, now is not the time for this billboard.

    To further what I said in my original comment, my blog —was born from my past in gay porn. So you should really consider why I of all people would feel this way. For I believe I am looking at this quite logically, and have explained it as such.

Comments are closed.