Virgin Mobile adds to controversy with 'mangina' viral

LONDON - Virgin Mobile has created a controversial viral advertisement promoting its cut-price text messaging service, featuring a clip that includes a "mangina" scene that was deemed too saucy for television.

The ad, created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, is set in a psychiatric ward and the web version includes a "mangina" scene -- where a man has tucked his penis between his thighs so it can not be seen, a pose used in the film 'The Silence of the Lambs'.

The ads ends with the strapline "the devil makes work for idle thumbs", and promotes Virgin Mobile's 3p tariff when texting other users in the same network.

While the "mangina" scene was already deemed too risque for mainstream broadcast, the television version of the ad is already under investigation after 48 people complained about the depiction of mental illness and hospital workers. One scene shows a man stapling a nurse's dress to a table, which then rips as she walks away, revealing her bottom. Complaints about the ad have come from nurses and members of the public.

Digital Media Communications has planned the viral campaign, which can be viewed here.

James Kydd, brand director for Virgin Mobile, said: "We are using online viral and buzz marketing as a strategic part of our 'idle thumbs' marketing campaign in order to broaden awareness of our new 3p text tariff -- particularly among the culture-driving, technology-savvy online viral community that DMC can reach."

The clip drives viewers to the Virgin Mobile site.

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