Daily Not Into Big Breasts
The Statesman censors an ad by the amazing Maxi Mounds
On Oct. 13, the Statesman ran a small ad, buried in the back of the sports section, announcing the Crazy Lady's weekend show times for traveling exotic dancer Maxi Mounds. The ad touted Mounds three-night gig by teasing readers with her assets under a head shot of the Florida blonde, the daily's ad rep designed two starbursts which contained the following text: "Maxi Mounds" and "World's Biggest Breasts! (156-24-36)." However, after the paper hit the streets, the owner of the Crazy Lady reportedly got a call from Tony Long, the daily's retail sales manager, who said that after seeing the ad in the paper, Statesman publisher Michael Laosa had "determined that the ad violated the Statesman's advertisement standards," said attorney and former County Judge Bill Aleshire, who represents the Crazy Lady.
According to Aleshire, the daily refused to run the ad again unless it was censored: The name "Mounds" would be banned along with the starburst graphics, and the words "World's Biggest" and "Breasts." And even if all those changes were made, Long reportedly told the Crazy Lady, Mounds' measurements, 156-24-36, still would not be allowed to appear in print. Further, Aleshire said, the Statesman rejected his proposed compromise, which was to retract the apparently offensive information and replace it with the word "CENSORED" running across the front of the advertisement. "Left with little choice," Aleshire wrote in an Oct. 13 letter to Long, "our client agrees to pay for the ad as censored." On Oct. 14 the ad appeared again, sanitized for Statesman-readership consumption, with just Mounds' head shot, the name "Maxi M." and the show times.
Although the Crazy Lady decided to run the daily's second version of their ad, Aleshire said that he and his client still have questions about how and why the ad was deemed inappropriate, along with concerns about the paper's seeming easy, if not erratic, relationship with the First Amendment. Aleshire said that he was told the ad as it originally appeared which was created with the advice of one of the paper's advertising representatives violated the daily's standards, but that he was denied a copy of the applicable standards. "It was the ad rep's suggestion to put the starbursts," he said. Still, he has "never seen the standards," he said, "and they were not offered."
In his letter, Aleshire tossed back a few numbers: According to his research, the word "Mounds" has appeared in recent Statesman stories a total of 573 times and the words "World's Biggest" and "Breasts" have appeared a total of 13,897 times. While Aleshire said that he could not find Mounds' specific measurements in any articles, he noted that strings of numbers routinely appear in the paper not only in the business section, but also on the sports pages, where the Mounds ad ran.
Mounds' ad was "not raunchy" he said, or "as provocative as things that have run in the past." Nor was it as raunchy, in his opinion, as another ad that ran above the censored ad on Oct. 14, which features a masked, bikini-clad babe in an ad for the 24-hour Mardi Gras "lingerie and modeling" shop in North Austin (which, by the way, is now hiring). Long did not return a phone call from the Chronicle requesting comment.
The Mounds scandal has left Aleshire irritated and a little confused. "From an attorney standpoint, I look at the general trends in the country right now and I believe that presently we are further restricting the rights of free speech and free expression," he said. And, he said, he wonders whether the Statesman would've been more comfortable running Mounds' measurements if they'd been reversed 36-24-156. "I do not understand this unnatural fear and loathing about women's breasts," he said. "It may be that the ad is wrong about Ms. Mounds having the world's biggest boobs. The biggest boobs may be the people that support [the Statesman's] 'policy.'"