The ad, for My Goodness Shakes, was devised by Quiet Storm and embedded in a marketing email. It was hosted on the company’s website.
It opened with the question “What’s going on here?”, followed by the video, which showed the upper bodies of men who appeared to be masturbating in public places.
At the end of the video one of the men appeared to ejaculate on a woman’s shoulder only to reveal it was actually protein drink being shaken, with the endline “We shake for you … the protein shake without the shaker.” But one recipient was not impressed, and complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, which then launched an investigation.
In its defence, My Goodness claimed its protein powders normally required “vigorous and constant shaking” to turn them into smooth shakes, but the new product came ready-mixed. It added that the video was a humorous take that used the old comedy technique of “it isn’t what you think it is”.
My Goodness added that the video had not run on general broadcast media, such as TV, so it was unlikely to have been seen outside the target market of “sports-interested adult males” who would relate to the video.
However, the ASA took a different view, ruling that the ad “alluded to masturbation” with a scene that indicated that a man had ejaculated onto a woman’s back.
It added: “We considered that many of the other online channels that hosted the video, such as a news and entertainment website, were likely to appeal to a wider audience who would find the references to public masturbation, and particularly to ejaculating on another person, offensive.”
Banning the ad, the ASA told My Goodness to make sure its future marketing did not contain similar content.
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