Sausage ad’s double entendre ruled harmful to kids

SX1000 Apparently there are 21 people in the UK who have never seen Benny Hill. We know this because 21 people filed complaints about sausage ads asking listeners to reveal "where you like to stick yours." As in:

  • "Think about all the things you can stick this tasty, extraordinarily large sausage in."
  • "Mmm… Pizza, pasta, stir fry. You have any ideas? Give me a call and tell me where you like to stick it."

Complainants said the ads were offensive because of the sexual innuendo and shouldn’t have been aired when children were likely to be listening. Once again no one complained about the real issue – stupid sophomoric sex references passing as comedy.

The Advertising Standards Authority did not uphold the complaints about the innuendo because it was not sexually explicit, but said the ads could "cause harm to children."

If they start banning stuff for being so stupid it would cause harm to children then the airwaves will be empty.

International tensions prick condom ads

South Korea’s subway system said Thursday it had removed advertisements for Japanese condoms from its carriages amid growing public anger over Tokyo’s renewed claims to disputed islands. About 200 ads for Okamoto condoms were removed from carriages in Seoul on Tuesday, only five days after being posted, said Seoul Metro.

The ads didn’t actually show any condoms — heaven forbid! — but did include the phrase “No. 1 in Japan.”

Bad choice of words: NYC says condom ads are “cutting edge”

NYCondomStaying safe in New York City just got even sexier. The Health Department today unveiled a brand new look for the NYC Condom and launched a cutting-edge media campaign to encourage New Yorkers to “get some.” … The NYC Condom’s new look includes a fresh package design and an elegant new dispenser, which will debut in 200 New York City venues in the coming weeks.

I think they should have used “hard-hitting” and “sweet-spot” to describe the campaign. BTW, the city is also offering NYC-branded lube and female condoms.

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Sex, violence and religion: Churches use Halo 3 and porn to attract customers

Everyone else is doing it, so why not them?

The computer game Halo is hot so:

Acts of GodAcross the country, hundreds of ministers and pastors desperate to reach young congregants have drawn concern and criticism through their use of an unusual recruiting tool: the immersive and violent video game Halo.

Pornography, of course, is always popular so:

The Crux, a Fishers church, joined a nationwide movement Sunday to address the issue, a day they called “Porn Sunday,” WRTV-TV in Indianapolis reported. Across the country, hundreds of churches talked about what some call America’s dirty little secret. An estimated 40 million people visit porn sites daily, generating an estimated $6.2 billion for porn purveyors in the United States alone, according to Porn Sunday’s organizers. Porn Sunday is a movement started by two pastors from California who formed a church called xxxchurch.com, dubbed a Christian porn site.

And to think people once got upset because Vatican II switched the Catholic Church from Latin to the vernacular. (Cue Tom Lehrer.) All of this goes a long way to explain why the Night of Joy Christian music event at Walt Disney World is considered the rowdiest, most debauched event in the Happiest Place on Earth:

. . . some who have attended previous NOJ festivals, as well as Cast Members who’ve worked it, claim that of all the separate-ticket events held at the Magic Kingdom, it’s the most unruly. Tales abound of the Magic Kingdom overrun by mobs of drunken teens, petty thievery in the shops, as well as an overworked security dealing with fights among the crowds of young concert attendees.

(Maybe it’s just the context but doesn’t Night of Joy sound a little dirty?)

It’s actually disingenuous of me to criticize this behavior. I mean if you read the source material … aka The BIBLE … it’s just filled with this stuff.

But that’s all in the Old (fun) Testament, the New Testament’s stories offer far less in the way of how people do act and more in the way of how it is hoped they will act. Because of this I think it’s OK for Catholic Bishops in Belgium to complain about a TV ad depicting a pot-bellied, hippy Jesus performing miracles and picking up scantily-clad girls up in a nightclub.

God Ad

According to the texts I’ve read (and I haven’t finished The Gnostic Gospels yet) while Jesus did meet “fallen women” he put a premium on helping them back up. It’s important to show the full story.

(Acts of God image courtesy of GreatCosmicHappyAss.com which has a bunch of other funny God cards.)

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Major blow to Chinese capitalism: Gov’t bans ads for push-up bras, “figure-enhancing undergarments” and sex toys

china breast adRegulators have already targeted ads using crude or suggestive language, behavior, and images, tightening their grip on television and radio a few weeks ahead of a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress at which some new senior leaders will be appointed. The latest move by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, or SARFT, also bans advertisements for sexual aids such as tonics that claim to boost performance in bed.

So the government wants a monopoly on lying to people?

Sex, booze and Jay McInerney … well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad

What could possibly improve booze and sex? Well, if you said “literature” instead of “mutual consent” or “birth control,” then boy, do I have a marketing campaign for you. The makers of tarted-up distilled-potato-juice Svedka have gotten in to bed with the producers of the intellectually tarted-up porn site Nerve.com for a summer fling. The result is a book, 2033: The Future of Misbehavior: Interplanetary Dating, Madame President, Socialized Plastic Surgery, and Other Good News from the Future. Two colons in one title? Let’s add one more – “: Soon To Be Remaindered.” To quote the press release: “The celebrated work of literature will highlight how adults entertain themselves in the year 2033.” The book is alleged to contain work by “the brightest minds in writing today.” brightlightsOddly, this list includes novelist Jay McInerney* who, last I checked, was one of the brightest minds in writing 20 years ago. In addition to the book there is a Web site for Svedka. There you can download ads featuring a “sexy fembot” named “Svedka Girl.” She looks on as coyly as a robot can next to the copy that reads, “I go both ways. Straight up or on the rocks.” The site also features a lot of party pictures of people you’ve never heard of. The campaign claims that all this is “the future of adult entertainment.” Sadly, they might be right.

(NB: I still think Bright Lights is a really, really funny book. Except for the ending. That’s just lame. Kind of like “Stripes.”)

Sex & The Super Bowl (ads)

There were actually a lot of sexually subversive ads in this year’s crop of Super Bowl premiers. My favorite was the one for the car where all the guys stripped off their clothes in order to touch “it.” The Doritos one where the plus sized cashier got to actually be sexually attractive and assertive was also a nice change of pace. Then there was the Snickers ad where the to guys working on a car have a kind of Lady & The Tramp moment with a candy bar, then realized their lips have touched and as a reaction have to do something “manly.” In this case what they did is pull out large swaths of chest hair and howl with pain. Now I saw this and took it as a really funny comment on homophobia.

See the ad here.

Now the Human Rights Campaign took umbrage at this in what I thought was a complete show of a lack of humor. I thought this until I saw HRC’s reference to “Three alternate endings to the commercial spot are posted on the Snickers website, one of which includes the two men violently attacking one another – which sends a dangerous message to the public condoning violence against gay Americans. … Two other video clips posted on the Snickers website feature players from the Bears and the Colts watching the ads and responding to the two men kissing.”

Looked for them today and haven’t been able to find those alternate endings any where. Now I’m intrigued. Anyone know where to find them? Bueller?

“Evangelist admits meth, massage, no sex”

Now that’s a headline. This such an odd exercise in spin control. It’s like Haggard thinks the public will forgive anything — use of illicit drugs, getting a “massage” from a gay male prostitute — except having sex with someone of your own gender. I mean even if you are willing to believe

that he did buy meth from the man because he was curious. “I bought it for myself but never used it,” he said. “I was tempted, but I never used it.” … He said he did get a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel.

— then your only possible conclusion is that he’s an idiot who didn’t know how to get what he paid for. This is both of Bill Clinton’s best lines — I didn’t inhale and it depends what you mean by is — rolled into one.

If there’s one redeeming fact about Haggard’s performance its that there’s no doubt it is genuinely him … because there isn’t a PR person in the world who would have suggested this.

(Special thanks to Nina D. for pointing this one out…)

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Cancer, Poverty, Drugs, Smoking … Is there any war we can win?

Ensuring the long-term success of something is easy: Just make it the target of a U.S. government lead unofficial “war.” So far we’ve failed to curtail cancer, punish poverty, decrease drug consumption and now word comes that anti-smoking ads … <drum roll > … increase smoking. According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, “youth smoking prevention ads created by the tobacco industry aimed at parents, actually increase the likelihood that teens will smoke in the future.”

Thank goodness we’re winning in Iraq.

UPDATE: There’s hope for hopelessly awkward or unattractive people in their 20s. “The government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

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Sex & the Single iPod

Looks like we have hit the age of iNtimacy. The business world has finally figured out to conjoin the darling of Apple’s I and our more base urges. First there is the iGroove Panty, which lets you attach your iPod nano to a pair of lacey underthingies. Not sure exactly why you would want to do this but to each his or her own, just try not to frighten the horses. Also, there are currently at least two iPod related vibrators on the market. The OhMiBod  (shouldn’t that be the ohmIbod?) and the iBuzz both can be used with any MP3 player (rumor has it there are others on the market, yes?) and provide implements that will “pulsate in time to the music.” Sadly, I have no doubt we can all expect some gender equality on this front in the near future.

The fish, the barrel, the smoking gun: Selling sex to teens

Everyone knows that teens want to have sex – at least everyone who was ever a teen – but despite this the world continues to look beyond biology to explain why this is so. In Thailand, the government has decided to blame marketing. In the US, a new study is blaming the old hobgoblin of “sexually suggestive” music. This will come as good news to the city fathers in Vienna who once tried to ban the Waltz on these grounds sometime in the 19th century.

Reuters reports that in Bangkok – where they pretty much invented the phrase “sex tourism” – the Culture Ministry has banned a line of condoms whose name translates as “Good Penetration.” The reason: the suggestive label could draw youngsters into having sex earlier.

The prophylactics are actually a, pardon the expression, brand extension of a popular singer named Tom Dundee. Dundee in Thai means … well if you’ve read this far chances are you know what it means. A representative of the Culture Ministry said, “Although the name is not vulgar or rude, it is ambiguous, boastful and provocative. It could entice excessive consumption and lure children and youths with little maturity to start having sexual activities before their appropriate age.”

Dundee, nee Puntiva Poomiprates, told Reuters, “You can’t stop human desire, no matter how old they are, so it is better to protect them.” I think we have to go with the private sector on this one.

Meanwhile back in the States, the Rand Corp. (the same people who brought us Vietnam) has determined that teens who listen to music with “raunchy, sexual lyrics” start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs. “The study found that the more time adolescents spend listening to music with sexually degrading lyrics, the more likely they are to initiate intercourse and other sexual activities. This holds true for boys and girls as well as for whites and nonwhites, even after accounting for a wide range of other personal and social factors associated with adolescent sexual behavior,” said a Rand release (and doesn’t that sound dirty?).

Question … is it possible that teens who are more interested in sex are drawn to music with these themes? (FWIW, in an unprecedented move here at CD I actually did some reporting on this. Called Rand and tried to speak to Mr. Martino. Their PR person declined the interview. Go figure.)

Next quote: “Researchers found that only sexually degrading lyrics – many quite graphic and containing numerous obscenities – are related to changes in adolescents’ sexual behavior. These lyrics depict men as sexually insatiable, women as sexual objects, and sexual intercourse as inconsequential. Other songs about sex do not appear to influence youth the same way.”

Sadly neither the release nor the abstract available from Pediatrics, the journal which published the study, includes a list of songs deemed able to stimulate sexual urges in an adolescent – which has to be the easiest assignment in all of marketing. A more interesting list, one suspects, would be that of songs capable of preventing an adolescent from thinking about sex.

Final quote from the release: “Songs depicting men as ‘sex-driven studs,’ women as sex objects and with explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those where sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed.” Yeah, but how many songs by The Carpenters can any one person really listen to?

Or, as Etta James once put it, Roll with me Henry.