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Keep it clean: the enema industry finally courts its best-paying customer.

IMAGINE SCHICK SELLING its razors only to women. Enema makers have long done a similar thing by ignoring some of their best customers--gay men--in their marketing efforts.

Fleet is trying to change that. The brand isn't the likeliest candidate to embrace the gay demographic: it's owned by a privately held company based in Lynchburg, Va., birthplace of the onetime Moral Majority. But a new manager at Fleet, interested in modernizing the product's image, reached out to Witeck-Combs, an LGBT-focused marketing firm, to create a gay-friendly strategy for Fleet Naturals. Just like the old standby, the new enema variety relieves constipation, but this one's also being promoted for sexual hygiene purposes.

So how to address the usually verboten subject of preparing for anal sex? Try a tongue-in-cheek campaign, for starters. Fleet recently unveiled a series of print ads in gay publications like Out (The Advocate's sister magazine) with euphemistic stand-ins for the posterior, from hamburger buns to donkeys. "It's addressing a subject people don't usually like to talk about by doing so in a funny way," says Witeck-Combs's Wes Combs.

Unlike Fleet's primary brand, Naturals has an isotonic solution that does not contain sodium phosphates, the active ingredient used to treat constipation. "It's gentle enough for once-daily use," Combs says. Wishful thinking.

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Title Annotation:ADVANCE / NEWS
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Jun 1, 2010
Words:211
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