dating feuds

The Gaydar v. Manhunt Battle Over NYC Pride

Even if you don’t use either of their services, surely you’ll be interested in the fight Gaydar is trying to start with Manhunt over supposedly hijacking NYC Pride?

Having already publicly feuded with Fabulis, Manhunt is being invited to another web battle with their competitors at Gaydar. The British-based “dating” site is all upset that after donating cash to Heritage of Pride to become a sponsor for the NYC Pride parade march (of which Queerty was also a sponsor), which entitled them to wave their brand around at the Pier Dance, circumvented a proper sponsorship and instead hired a plane to fly a banner over all the queers. How dare she!

“We were thrilled to sponsor the Pier Dance. People loved the Freemasons, we made tons of new friends and gave away a truckload of T-shirts,” says Gaydar’s marketing head Phil Henricks (on the website of the company’s publicist). “And it was sunny, which was great, though I found the Manhunt’s aerial banner hijack attempt to be a bit desperate and, with no mention of Pride on their banner, not terribly supportive of the community.”

All those corporate donations to NYC Pride, to be sure, helped new managing director Chris Frederick bring in major bucks (read: a 300 percent increase) for 2010.

But does flying an airplane banner over NYC Pride’s festivities count as hijacking?

Well, it’s certainly not kosher — but it’s a standard industry practice, or at least an oft repeated one, for companies to glom onto major events as unofficial advertisers, with only tongue-in-cheek nods that they aren’t an actual sponsor. (And while you’ll see it during the Super Bowl in the U.S., the World Cup was having none of it). It comes down to finances: It’s much more expensive to be an official partner of Pride or any other event than it is to sneak your way in through the back door. Or the not-so-friendly skies.