COMMENT: Gay sex ads on TV may put me off my cocoa ... or worse

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like them. Some might appear a little over-sensitive, but they make up for that with a tremendous sense of humour.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like them. Some might appear a

little over-sensitive, but they make up for that with a tremendous sense

of humour.



(I’m thinking of TV favourites such as Julian Clary, John Inman and

Michael Barrymore.) But they’re not all like that. Others appear neither

amusing nor the least bit sensitive, like that strident thin man with a

name like Satchell who pops up on the news to denounce everybody.



And it’s not just the famous ones I’m fond of. A couple of them live on

my street and they look ever so presentable walking up and down with

their little dogs and stroking their moustaches. (What’s more, I’m told

they keep their home spotlessly clean.)



But there’s one little thing I’d ask them to do: keep their hands off

each other. I think I speak for all right-thinking people when I say

homosexuals are much nicer that way.



In fact, the thought of them touching one another makes me feel a little

- well, I shouldn’t say queer, should I?



So imagine how horrified I was to learn that the TV stations intend to

flood our screens with an advertisement in which one man kisses another

and then begins to take off his trousers.



It didn’t take me long, I can tell you, to pick up the receiver and

press the pre-programmed button for making complaints to the BBC. The

woman at the end of the line insisted there was no prospect of these

vile images showing up so long as I stuck with Auntie. But that wasn’t

satisfactory, because, just occasionally, I like to hear the news from

that nice Trevor McDonald, and there’s no telling what advertisements

might appear before he reaches ’And finally’. So I kept calling until I

got an answer.



Who, you might ask, had commissioned this ghastly piece of work? It took

me a while to find out, and I almost wish I hadn’t - because it turns

out the company in question, Rubberstuffers, is a charity concerned with

the promotion of condoms. (Family planning - for homosexuals!)



As for the company’s advertising agency: far from offering reassurance,

it told me the advertisement would blend in perfectly with the

programmes surrounding it. A number of gay men might be watching, it

said. ’But there’s no need to encourage them,’ I shouted.



Eventually, I spoke to a charming Scottish gentleman at an establishment

called the BACC (Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre). Mr Euston

Maclean assured me the TV companies and the advertising industry take my

feelings extremely seriously. What’s more, he said, I’m unlikely to

catch the advertisement because I refuse to watch ’alternative’ channels

such as Channel 4 - and, anyway, I’ll be tucked up with my cocoa by

half-past ten.



Editor’s Comment has moved to page 21.



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