Durex’s ad deemed inappropriate for using ‘sex’ four times in commercial

Reckitt Benckiser’s Durex has had one of its ads censured for failing to treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity.

The ad, which aired during catch-up episodes of Nine’s Australia Ninja Warrior and Britain’s Got Talent, featured images of the Durex Lubricant range with the words “nine out of 10 agree sex is better with a gel”.

Durex has had one of its digital ads banned

Posting to Ad Standards, a complaint said the ad was “inappropriate” and shouldn’t have been aired during a family friendly program.

“I was watching Britain’s got talent with children under 10 years old, this is family show not one to have lubricant ads and having “sec is better with a gel” said and written on screen I was appauled and it occurred 5 times [sic].

“I had to send my kids on little jobs everytime the ads came on since on 8 now you can not fast forward an ad [sic].”

“As said in my message to 9 news I hold the remote there’s few comedy acts and magician acts I fast forward that the kids don’t need to see but to not be able to fast forward an inappropriate ad was horrible it was not the time or place for such an ad,” another commenter posted.

Reckitt Benckiser said the digital ad was intended to normalise the use of lubricants and noted the ad in question only aired on digital and catch up TV.

“RB takes these matters seriously and we would not intentionally engage in activity that would in any way be seen as breaching an ethical code.

“We regret that there have been complaints about our digital advertisement and can confirm that we have taken precautionary measures with our media agency, Zenith Optimedia, to ensure the digital advertisement is only run after the hours of 8.30pm.”

The Board said because the ad uses the word and text “sex” four times during the ad it is not suitable to an audience which would include children.

Upholding the ad, the Board said “the advertisement did not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience”.

In response to the ruling, Reckitt Benckiser said its media agency Zenith Optimedia has made sure the ad will only run after 8.30pm.


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