World Brief

JOHANNESBURG — South African men like to appear tough, but new research indicates that millions are closet soap fans.

An advertising industry study has revealed that U.S.-produced “The Bold and the Beautiful” draws male auds of up to 30% in South Africa while 42% of the average 2.5 million who daily tune into “Generations,” the country’s most popular TV show and longest-running locally produced soap, are men. The stats may force the ad industry to change its traditional thinking. Soaps have always been seen as strictly female viewing, with ads targeted accordingly, while ads aimed at men run during primetime movies, sports and business shows.

According to Colin Howard, line producer of Afrikaans-lingo soap “Sewende Laan’s” (Seventh Avenue), male soap fans prefer to keep their preferences secret, saying, “The wife puts it on.”

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