Peter York on Ads: 'Reveal'

The truth about women and their pretty, pink brains
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The Independent Online

Sex and brainology. I'm a sucker for it, starting, I think, with Brain sex back in the early '90s and, most recently, Simon Baron-Cohen's theories about autism and the "extreme male brain". Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Cambridge but, of course, most people will want to know exactly how he's related to Ali G - uncle, brother, cousin?

Sex and brainology. I'm a sucker for it, starting, I think, with Brain sex back in the early '90s and, most recently, Simon Baron-Cohen's theories about autism and the "extreme male brain". Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Cambridge but, of course, most people will want to know exactly how he's related to Ali G - uncle, brother, cousin?

There I go, high and low. You're thinking about brain chemistry and the related social issues, and then you're diverted by the question of turning men into women and - more interesting really - women into men. Or who's related to whom.

The publishers of Reveal, a celebrity magazine, are interested in brain physiology too. They seem to think this divertibility to the immediate and the individual is pretty much a woman thing. And they think women have only so much room in their brains, which are underwear pink.

This isn't me morphing into a professor of women's studies at Archway University, it's what they actually say in their new commercial. "Make room for it," they shout as they shove a story into a little pink brain, or they show a girl so utterly distracted by a Reveal story she doesn't notice the surf splashing over her.

One story they're revealing here is about Jordan. It's Jordan's fears about how her little Harvey (how little exactly is this child - six inches? Two and a half feet? And is he littler than the average Harvey?) will cope with her new baby.

They've also got exclusive photos of Brad, Angelina and her son, Maddox, on holiday. (Not exactly a Primrose Hill name there, in the Fred and Flora mould - is Angelina a bit Jordanian?) They don't say how little Maddox is, so perhaps several feet tall. And a six-page diet special.

It's a very laddish approach, just like the launch ads for Nuts, where women were deserted in favour of the dog-whistle features. Do women like being addressed like this, or does the whole thing wash right over them?

Peter@sru.co.uk

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