An ad for London-based Accurist watch company which ran in Glamour and showed a near naked woman reclining in a chair with her left hand in her crotch above the tagline, "Me Time," was banned by the Advertising Standard Authority which deemed it sexually suggestive and likely to cause serious or widespread offense to readers. Accurist, apparently not having seen their own ad, denies the ad has any association with masturbatory imagery. One reader who complained seems to think masturbation is somehow offensive and demeaning to women. It seems both sides are having difficulty facing reality with Accurist plainly denying a near naked woman with her hand between her legs might possibly be interpreted as sexual and the complainer refusing to admit we've progressed beyond the pre-Kinsey world where masturbation was taboo.
Of course, this doesn't mean masturbating women in ads is a good thing but let's not mince words. In the ad it looks like she is. And, there's nothing wrong with masturbation which is certainly not demeaning to women.
Accurist has a series of these ads on its website including another crotch grab ad.
Steve Rubel points to yet another not so well timed contextual ad placement. Today, London was selected to host the 2012 Olympics. In a Yahoo story announcing the news, a New York City Olympic bid ad appeared embedded within the article. Not that anyone's to blame as you can't always time your ad campaign to breaking news but it wasn't looking good for New York for quite some time.
While this one isn't as blatant, another fast food marketers seems to want people to fornicate with its products. First, McDonald's ran a banner campaign with the headline "I'd Hit it." Now, Andrew Teman points to a Wendy's ad for its Chicken Sandwich which contains the headline "Do a Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Now, we all know there's an association between food and sex but we're not quite sure fast food falls into the category of mood-altering quisine.
We've Come A Long Way
While we all might get a chuckle or two out of watching a bunch of women dressed in bridal gowns digging for cash inside a wedding cake in the middle of Times Square, female copywriter, Veronica, writing on her A Big Fat Waste of Time weblog, thinks WE's Bridezilla and its promotional campaign degrades women and portrays them as brainless gold diggers. Aside from that fact that's the point of the show and there'd be no show if the brides didn't act like that, Veronica writes, "Sure those kinds of women exist in the world. There are a lot of Black guys in jail, too, but I think we reached our quota on those kinds of movie roles a long time ago, don't you?" She hopes the whole thing wins the AWNY Grand Ugly Award.
Always pushing limits and questioning normalcy, Dov Charney's American Apparel and its advertising campaigns continue to walk the edge with strange statements like "Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence, maybe one is involving a man. And this has made a victim culture out of women. See another ad here.
For Your IE's Only
So, today, Mitsubishi launched their cool-ish Yahoo page take over to promote the new 2006 Eclipse. By using the a,s,d,w keys, visitors can drive the car around the Yahoo page before heading to the car's microsite. It's engaging enough as page takeovers go but we have one concern. It's hard to believe that most marketers, especially a supposedly savvy marketer like Mitsubishi, still think Internet Explorer is the only browser worth designing for. You see, we use Firefox here because, well, it's just, like, way better than Explorer. We also spend our entire day writing about advertising. You'd think Mitsubishi would want those who write about advertising to easily and without need to fire up another browser, view their page takeover creative. Apparently the 10 to 20 percent of us that use Firefox don't matter. Actually, maybe that's a good thing. Those that use Firefox also use it because most of this fancy stuff doesn't work with Firefox and we like that little "feature" just fine.
Not Very Amusing
Charter is promoting its $39.99 per month broadband phone service with a not so great spot that take the "laughing all the way to the bank" pun overboard. Aside from unfunny creative, why would anyone with cable use a $39.95 per month broadband phone service when they can just hook up with Vonage broadband for $24.99 per month?
Charter did one thing right though. The call to action in the spot is an 800 number instead of a website. Good thing. That $39.99 price is nowhere to be found on the Charter product page. All you get is pointers back to the 800 number. Is it really that difficult to list prices so people can make decisions without having to wade though layers and layers of phone menus just to be placed perpetually on hold?
Hippie Goes Hip-Hop
Later this month. Coke will launch a campaign to introduce its new calorie-free drink, Zero. The centerpiece of the campaign will be a remake, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and shot last week in Philadelphia, of the classic "Hilltop" spot which featured the famous song, "I'd Like to Buy The World A Coke" which also introduced the tagline, "It's the Real Thing." The new commercial is being labeled "Chilltop" and the song will be sung by G. Love.
Fast Company's Ryan Underwood isn't too thrilled with the song's new lyrics which have, as he writes, "about as much personality as the mahogany table around which they were surely penned."
Not For Kids
P & G has ended its Secret Sparkle Body Spray ad campaign targeting children under 12 following an edict from the Children's Advertising Review Unit which claimed P & G disregarded the organization's guidelines on advertising to children. CARU guidelines state "products inappropriate for children should not be advertised to children. This is especially true for products labeled 'Keep out of reach of children.'" Stretching the boundaries of common sense, P $ G created a product for kids, labeled it "Keep out of reach of children" and then advertised it to kids. Hello? Is there a brain in the house?
Perhaps to distance themselves from Ashlee Simpson's less than capable singing abilities and the bad press it caused, Candie's will now feature Hilary Duff in its upcoming ad campaign to promote a line of junior girl clothing and accessories. Duff will appear in print and television ads for the line which will be distributed exclusively at Kohl's stores.
Kohl's parent company president, Kevin Mansell claims Duff will "resonate with today's young shoppers." Duff was named one of People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people in 2005. Her new movie "A Perfect Man" is in theaters June 17, and her newest album is in stores Aug. 16.