Stiff warning for erection mailshot
An unsolicited direct mailing which offered recipients an “immediate, hard erection – guaranteed” has been slammed and banned by the ad watchdog for causing serious and widespread offence.
The mailing, by a New Zealand company called Regal Health, promoted a sexual enhancement spray.
It was headed: “At last, an effective solution to erection problems! Get an immediate, hard erection – guaranteed!”
Featuring an image of a naked woman, lying on her front and looking up at the camera, the mailshot contained various claims about increased sexual performance and testimonials detailing the effect the product had had on a number of men’s sex lives.
It also included a further image of the woman, lying on her front, with her nipple exposed.
But one recipient objected that the unsolicited ad was offensive, because of the sexual content, so the Advertising Standards Authority demanded an explanation from Regal Health.
However, the company did not even respond to the ASA’s enquiries although given the overtly sexual nature of the mailing, the watchdog considered that it required very careful targeting to avoid causing offence to unsuspecting recipients. Yet, according to the complainant, the mailing was entirely unsolicited.
Concluding that the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and had not been adequately targeted, the ASA ruled the ad must not appear again in its current form.
The watchdog also warned Regal Health to ensure similar marketing communications were carefully targeted in future to avoid causing offence.