Two-thirds of young people think too much fuss is made about sex in
advertising and would be happy to see more of it, according to research
commissioned by Grey Advertising through NOP.
The study, conducted in England, found 15- to 24-year-olds in the south
of England were more likely to approve of sex in ads than northerners of
the same age, and that women were slightly more anti-sex than men.
Around 43 per cent of young women claimed they sometimes found sex in
advertising annoying, compared with 35 per cent of young men. However,
almost all of the young women who found sex annoying in ads - 94 per
cent - approved of its use in commercials for products such as clothes
The report also revealed that recent controversy over gay advertising
images may have been overdone, with only 39 per cent of young people
disapproving of the use of homosexual images in advertising, and 44 per
cent of the young women interviewed actually approving.
The research comes at a time when Grey is holding talks with the Irish
state television channel, RTE, in a last-ditch attempt to save its
raunchy Lee Jeans ads from the scrap-heap.
RTE has come under so much fire for imposing a pre-10pm ban on the ad -
which shows a young Gypsy Rose Lee stripping off her jeans before a
group of appreciative males - that it is considering pulling the
‘Heidi’s jeans ad is too hot for telly,’ blazed the front page of the
Irish Sun recently, and ‘This is too hot for RTE,’ ran the Evening Echo,
both of which featured pictures of the commercial that was deemed too
provocative for normal evening viewing. The Irish Sun quoted an RTE
spokesman as saying the spot was ‘a real turn-on,’ and that it might be
confusing for children.
The Gypsy Rose Lee commercial, which is restricted to after 7.30pm in
the UK, is the first of a pair featuring famous Americans with Lee in
their names, as part of a pounds 5 million campaign for the jeans brand
(Campaign, 2 February).
The provocative style of the ads is not unusual in contemporary jeans
advertising, which has increasingly taken on a much more raunchy tone.
Levi’s latest campaign, ‘washroom,’ through Bartle Bogle Hegarty, for
example, shows the 22-year-old model, Anna Cristina, stripping down to
Levi’s commercial will not appear on terrestrial TV at all in the UK,
and will not be screened until after 9pm in Ireland because of the ad’s