A poster campaign for an erectile dysfunction aid, that featured the word “sex” in large letters, has been banned by the Advertising Standards Auth-ority (ASA) after the watchdog received 521 complaints that the ads are offensive.
The watchdog says the Advanced Medical Institute advertisement, which asks: “Want longer lasting sex?”, has caused “serious and widespread offence” because of the “stark and prominent” reference to sexual intercourse.
The posters push AMI’s nasal spray, designed to treat erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, and invite prospective customers to call doctors at its Harley Street clinic in London.
In its response, AMI says “bold, arresting statements” were sometimes the only way of “successfully engaging men and promoting the availability of treatment”.
The ASA also upheld a separate challenge that the poster advertised an unlicensed medicine because it is available by prescription only, and AMI did not hold a marketing authorisation for any medicines prescribed as part of its treatment programmes.
The posters have already been withdrawn at the request of the ASA, pending the outcome of the investigation. The watchdog says the poster must not appear again in its current form.
It adds any further reference to “nasal delivery” must be removed from future campaigns, and phrases that could be interpreted as referring to medicines must not be used.