A campaign for Lynx offering tips on how to date girls has been given the thumbs up from the ad watchdog, despite a barrage of complaints which branded it sexist and demeaning to women – and even offensive to men.
The push, which included 17 separate executions, ran on video on demand, online and in cinemas. It featured tongue-in-cheek advice on how to court five different types of girls: sporty, party, brainy, high-maintenance and flirty.
Devised by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the campaign promoted five different shower gels in the Unilever-owned range.
In the advice for party girl, the commentary said: “She’s saving her last bit of energy for a very special thank you to the man who kept her entertained all night long … Keep going man. She’s worth it.”
The Sporty girl ad included the line: “Nothing says I love you like breaking the bridge of another man’s nose. Now hit the showers and claim your trophy.”
But 21 people were distinctly not amused and felt strongly enough to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. Of those, 17 people considered the ads were sexist, objectified women and were demeaning to women, and challenged whether the ads were offensive.
Meanwhile, four people challenged whether the ads were offensive, because they portrayed men as sexually obsessed, manipulative and devious.
But, following an investigation, the ASA rejected all the complaints. While it recognised that the humour would not be to everyone’s taste, admitting some would even find it crass, it concluded the ads were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The decision is in stark contrast to last week’s adjudication against energy drink Pussy, which was deemed offensive for running a poster campaign featuring the brand name in large font. The ruling sparked claims that the regulator had suffered a sense of humour bypass.
‘Sexist Pussy’ mauled by watchdog