In 1992, the editorial staff of the gay newsmagazine, The Advocate, decided to banish the most profitable advertising—sexually explicit ads—from the magazine altogether in an attempt to secure ad dollars from national corporations. The banishment had been tried nearly 20 years earlier and failed. Through a historical textual analysis of magazine advertisements and media coverage of the event, this study explains why the timing of the second redesign made it successful. Guided by sociologist Gaye Tuchman's expansion of the concept of symbolic annihilation, this study argues that The Advocate's redesign, which was prompted by competition from new market entrants, had far-reaching implications for the overall gay market, helping solidify that market segment.

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