Sexy tennis player can show men how to wash their ‘dirty balls’
"People should lighten up. This is adult comedy and it's been shown at the right time."Featured comment
A television commercial showing how men can wash their "dirty balls" has been cleared by advertising watchdogs.
The Advertising Standards Authority rejected complaints that the commercial for Lynx Shower Gel and Lynx Body buffer was not offensive, because the innuendo used was appropriate and the commercial was shown after 9.30pm.
The advert had featured a mixed male and female studio audience with a fictional tennis star and others talking about cleaning dirty sports balls as it sought to promote better hygiene among men.
However, one complainant, S Joli, told the ASA that the advertisement was “almost pornographic in its presentation”.
“To have a very sexy tennis planner describing how to scrub men’s balls was not appropriate, I believe, at any time on television.
"To be descriptive about hairy balls, saggy balls, etc, and having one of the women rolling balls in her hand and saying she could play with them for ages was disgusting.
“The ad was meant to be funny- it was rather- offensive. If I wanted to watch pornography then that is a choice I could make. This ad gave no choice it just came on screen without warning,” the complainant said.
However, advertiser Unilever Australasia said the commercial continued the company’s “tradition of tongue in cheek entertainment by using innuendo and double entendre”.
“Lynx strives to create amusing marketing campaigns and promotions, and the men and women featured in our advertising are always in on the joke,” the company said.
“Men don’t feel comfortable discussing their personal hygiene openly and thus campaigns around men’s hygiene and health resonate better with all men, and young adults, in particular, when they use humour as to talk about important issues.
"We believe that the audience understands the playful nature of the commercial and the use of innuendo in relation to sports balls.”
Unilever also said a different version of the commercial aired in the USA and is still available on You Tube.
This US version won multiple awards, including the Cannes Golden Lion 2010 for Best Internet Film.
“We have taken great care to change the script of the US version to ensure it prevails with community standards in New Zealand and is compliant with the Code of Ethics.
"For example, in the US version the female tennis star is shown cleaning the dirty sports balls, in the Australia/New Zealand version of the commercial, this has been changed to a male volunteer to avoid any unintended suggestion of sexism,” the company said.
Some language and expressions were also changed.
Lynx’s advertising agency, GeneratorUnited, also said the tv commercial was extremely popular.
For the media, the Commercials Approvals Bureau said it reflected the “risque” approach Lynx had used in its campaigns over the years.
“Set in the mischievous domain of humour the commercial relies on innuendo, rather than anything sexually explicit occurring,” the CAB said.
Together, with the post-9.30pm rating, the advert was appropriate.
The ASA also noted the 9.30pm rating, the risque nature of Lynx commercials and while finding the commercial “distasteful”, said the ad relied solely on innuendo rather than anything explicit occurring and would not cause widespread offence.
Considering the nature of the product being promoted, the “double entendre used in the advertisement was acceptable” and the Complaints Board ruled not to uphold the complaint.
The commercial can be seen here: