Harvey Nichols ‘wet patches’ ad escapes censure

A Harvey Nichols advertising campaign that implied people had wet themselves with excitement over its sale has escaped censure by the advertising watchdog despite attracting more than 100 complaints.

harvey nichols

The press, digital and direct mail campaign, which ran in October last year showed images of a man and a woman with wet patches in their groin area along with the slogan: “The Harvey Nichols Sale. Try to Contain your Excitement”.

The campaign, created by DDB, attracted 105 complaints that it was offensive and would cause distress to people with bladder problems.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the ads were “unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence” although it conceded that some people could view the ads as “unsubtle and tasteless”.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here