ASA investigates claims Durex ads encourage promiscuity

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is investigating complaints that Durex’s new poster campaign is “tacky” and “irresponsible” because it encourages people to indulge in casual sex.

The £1m campaign, launched earlier this month by parent company SSL International, uses phrases such as “Roger More”, “Ejaculater” and “Longer Screws” (MW May 1). The ads, created by McCann-Erickson Manchester, carry the strapline: “Made to make you last longer”.

The ASA says a decision on the complaints is expected next week. Separately, the ASA has upheld complaints against British Telecom for “misleadingly” implying that all international calls are cheaper with BT Together than with Telewest – a claim which is inaccurate.

BT has also been asked not to repeat the claim: “Don’t forget other things you could be missing too. Such as BT answer 1571…”, which the ASA says misleads customers and implies that Telewest does not offer a free answerphone service.

Meanwhile, the advertising watchdog has not upheld complaints against press ads for McDonald’s, using the headline: “What comes first, the chicken or the egg? We think it’s the chicken”. Beneath the headline is a photograph of a carton of eggs with “6 free-range eggs” printed on it.

The complainants objected that the ad implies the chicken meat used in McDonald’s products is free-range. According to the ASA, the ads refer to the free-range eggs used in McDonald’s breakfast products, and would not mislead consumers into inferring that the chicken meat in other products is also free-range.


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