Every now and again a few eyebrows are raised over a controversial advertisement. Letters to the Editor roll in, and Today Tonight jumps on the opportunity for a (half) decent story. Emails circulate through offices and it dominates water-cooler conversations for days. More often than not, the big corporate giant who endorsed the ad releases an official statement, then it is taken off the air. Its job is done.
Many such ads have graced our screens, billboards and newspapers over the last decade. One of the most well known is probably the ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ campaign. The UK even banned it. Of course there is the Lynx Jet campaign that was offensive to women and therefore was taken off the air. Jennifer Hawkins raised a few eyebrows (and other body parts too), by posing on billboards around Australia wearing Lovable underwear and holding stuffed toys, accompanied by interesting slogans, such as ‘come here tiger’. What about the poor guy who got clocked over the head with a spanner after putting it in the dishwasher (naughty Morning Fresh)? There’s also the naked people driving their Holden Astra Coupe, too pre-occupied with their new car to bother about clothes. Of course there is the Nandos ad, showing a stripper chewing ‘Nando fix’ gum to avoid her Nandos cravings (only SBS was brave enough to air this one). Then there’s Sam Kekovich, former AFL star, who has people talking (and complaining) with an Australia Day campaign for lamb that abused vegetarian hippies and kebab-eating migrants, supported by Meat and Livestock Australia. Believe it or not, there was even a sports store in Margaret River who found themselves in trouble for using a girl in a g-string (aka thong) to advertise their new line of thongs.
Funny – I managed to write that whole passage without a single google search.
But when I go and buy some new underwear – I’ll most certainly look for the Lovable brand. In fact (true story) I am off to the shops tonight to buy a lamb roast for Australia Day. And I will proudly say ‘bloody hell’ as often as I like.