The new cover for Bloomberg Businesswek is attracting a lot of attention from the media, which, predictably enough, can't pass on a good penis joke.
Ginning up interest in the magazine are what covers are meant to do, of course. TIME didn't put a photo of a toddler breastfeeding on its cover to melt into the background.
Businessweek's cover has certainly been a popular topic on Twitter, that bastion of professionalism and restraint:
— Craig Trudell (@crtrud) July 11, 2013
That Businessweek cover would be funnier if the red line were only three inches long.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) July 11, 2013
Bloomberg business week cover image on hedge funds is a real pisser
— Daniel Gross (@grossdm) July 11, 2013
The cover story is titled, appropriately enough, "Hedge Funds Are for Suckers." This quote pretty much sums up the idea behind the cover:
One thing hedge funds are supposed to do — generate "alpha," a macho term for risk-adjusted returns that surpass the overall market because of the skill of the investor — is slipping further out of reach.
According to a report by Goldman Sachs released in May, hedge fund performance lagged the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index by approximately 10 percentage points this year, although most fund managers still charged enormous fees in exchange for access to their brilliance. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
A story about, ahem, underperforming hedge funds isn't provocative or controversial, but the content could be overshadowed by the cover, writes The Atlantic Wire's Alexander Nazaryan.
"At what point do risque covers actually undermine the reporting they are supposedly advertising?" Nazaryan asks. "And is the purported audience of Businessweek going to be attracted by such tactics? It's a fine line that Businessweek is walking."
The magazine, however, isn't backing away from its decision. It even published a story on the evolution of its cover featuring a variety of disillusioned, drooping hedge fund managers.
"The cover highlights the macho mythology of hedge fund managers, whose returns over the past decade have lagged behind the S&P 500," Josh Tyrangiel, the editor-in-chief of Businessweek, tells Mashable. "Yes, we're making them the butt of a joke; we're pretty sure they can take it."
This, for better or for worse, isn't the first time Businessweek has flirted with sexual innuendo:
— Josh (@Tyrangiel) February 2, 2012
The answer to your question is no, you can never unsee that.