Unilever wilts but Kraft stays firm in Pornhub ad row

pornhubUnilever has ended up with more than just egg splattered on its face after being forced to make a hasty withdrawal from advertising on Pornhub after an exposé in The Sunday Times claimed the site was hosting indecent images of kids.

Earlier this year, the company behind Dove, Marmite and Hellmann’s ran an ad campaign on Pornhub for male grooming brand Dollar Shave Club under the strapline: “If you use our bathroom products you won’t have to visit this site as much.”

At the time, Dollar Shave Club creative director Matt Knapp said the brand chose Pornhub because it “has guys’ backs”. He told marketing journal Mi3: “It’s not expensive, but interestingly, the exposure that you can get and the impressions are huge.”

This is despite Unilever once threatening to pull its ads off Facebook and YouTube over their inappropriate content.

According to The Sunday Times report, Pornhub – which claims to have over 36 billion visits a year and 9.7 million videos – also hosts illegal content, including footage of underage girls, “creepshots” of schoolgirls and clips of men performing sex acts in front of teenagers on buses.

The site says such content is banned and is removed swiftly. But the investigation claims a number of illegal videos on Pornhub had 350,000 views and had been online for more than three years. Three of the worst were flagged to Pornhub yet still remained up 24 hours later.

Funnily enough, now Unilever has insisted that Dollar Shave Club had operational independence and that its head office in London was unaware of the campaign at the time.

A spokesman said some content was “deeply troubling and we will ensure that none of our brands advertise on Pornhub again, or on any other porn site”.

Meanwhile, Kraft Heinz has also been fingered in the article after taking over the website’s homepage in January for a one-day #FoodPorn campaign to promote US frozen food brand Devour.

However, the firm appears to stand firm on its decision to advertise on the site. A spokesman said: “The brand was explicitly talking about #Foodporn, which has become a cultural phenomenon on Instagram.”

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