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The Advertising Standards Authority has – once again – ruled that lunchbar Habitual Fix’s flashing banana character is acceptable.
The company erected a billboard in Victoria Street promoting office lunches, showing an animated strawberry and a pear being chased by a partially peeled, “flashing” banana.
The complainant said the rude banana wore a “lewd expression” on its face and claimed the billboard was “very offensive” and sent a disastrous message to people.
“The message that I can see is that: Sexual violence against women is fancy; a man’s penis is a weapon that can be used to threaten and intimidate women; and women don’t understand a good joke (because a good joke is what violating them is).”
The ASA referred to a previous decision and said that children were unlikely to interpret the image as sexual or representative of a sexual assault.
It isn’t the first time the flashing phallic banana offender has come up against the ASA.
In September last year several complainants fingered the same billboard creative, along with the image that was on the back of a receipt.
Complainants said that the depiction of a sexually provocative banana chasing females around while they’re running in fear was “disturbing”.
Others got hot under the collar about the negative association of sexual assault with “healthy products such as fruit”.
However the ASA did not agree with complaints about the phallic fruit.
It did note that the fruit was gendered.
“The pear was wearing high-heeled shoes and the strawberry lipstick," the board noted.
“Both were being terrorised by a phallic banana.”
It might not surprise readers to learn that Habitual Fix’s founder James Tucker is a student of the Hell Pizza school of thought.
Incidentally, if you sign up to Habitual Fix’s loyalty card scheme, they’ll send you your own banana flasher e-card and "spam you with free stuff".