‘Sexist Pussy’ mauled by watchdog

pussy_1An ad for energy drink brand Pussy has fallen foul the ad watchdog, after scores of people complained that its play on the word “pussy” was derogatory, sexually explicit and offensive.
One poster, which appeared in locations across the UK, stated ‘pussy’ in large text, followed by smaller text reading: “The drink’s pure, it’s your mind that’s the problem,” while a second poster featured the word in large text to the left of the headline.
The campaign triggered 156 complainants, with the majority citing an implied sexually explicit reference while others said it was derogatory, sexist and degrading towards women.
Two complainants said the first ad was offensive to those with religious beliefs and was unsuitable to be displayed near a church, while many said it was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.
In its defence, Pussy Drinks said complaints that the first ad was offensive were “ironic, given that the posters clearly stated that the drink was pure and it was the mind of the viewer that was the problem”.
The company even quoted the Oxford English Dictionary definition that a pussy was “a cat, particularly a kitten”, adding that the brand was “cool, beautiful, feline and natural, with attitude, which explained their choice of name”.
But the Advertising Standards Authority was having none of it. It maintained that most consumers would recognise the term “pussy” had both a conventional and slang meaning and could therefore colloquially refer to the female genitals, as well as a cat or kitten.
While the ASA conceded the ad did not make direct reference to women, it noted that it did make a play on the dual meaning of the word ‘pussy’, therefore it was “intended as a sexually explicit reference which, in the context in which it appeared was likely to cause serious and widespread offence”.
It ruled that the first ad must not appear again in its current form.
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