A poster campaign for a Nottingham air conditioning company, which features the strapline “your wife is hot”, is still running in the city despite being blocked by the media agency which handles the region’s bus advertising.
Not Just Cooling, the company behind the ad, describes itself as “Nottingham’s premier air conditioning installation and maintenance company”, and is owned by Lee Davies, who designed the ad himself.
It features a fully dressed model, wearing a T-shirt and denim shorts – all good so far – but it is the strapline which has caused a stink, with one critic branding it “like something out of the 1950s”.
The campaign was originally scheduled to run on buses in Nottingham but outdoor specialist Adverta ruled it could cause offence.
A spokesman said: “Adverta took the view that the artwork supplied could cause offence and sought the views of our partners, Nottingham City Transport, and together we decided not to allow it, taking the view that it was not appropriate.”
However, Lee Davies insisted he did not “mean to offend anybody”. He said he was inspired by a similar ad in the US (pictured, right): “I chuckled to myself and thought ‘why not?’ Air conditioning is a very hard thing to advertise.”
Davies said he ran the idea past his team of engineers, who just so happen to be all men, but he did discuss the idea with his mother and wife, who approved it, too. Davies added: “My wife knows what I’m like. She thinks it’s funny because my wife knows my sense of humour.”
Last month, the Advertising Standards Authority introduced new rules prohibiting harmful gender stereotypes in advertising.
Professor Carrie Paechter, director of the Nottingham Centre for Children, Young People & Families, said the ad was “like something out of the 1950s” and called for it to be removed. She told the BBC: “I don’t want to demonise the company or the company’s owner but it is a foolish advert and it needs to come down.”
The ASA said it had yet to receive any official complaints.
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