Australia: Must not joke about balls

AN OLD man asks a young woman to help him with his saggy balls after she has demonstrated how other men can clean theirs.

"Balls. Nobody wants to play with them when they're dirty," says the woman, played by actor Sophie Monk.

Broadcast on free-to-air, pay television, online and in cinemas, the Lynx "cleans your balls" advertisement showing men how to wash a variety of sports balls has prompted 55 complaints to the Advertising Standards Bureau.

Psychologist and author Michael Carr-Gregg urged radio listeners in Melbourne to boycott the brand's products. "This is completely inappropriate," he said. "[It] just adds to this shadow of pornography that our children are growing up in and I think it's time we really got strict with them."

But the outrage was exactly what the company that paid for the advertisement and its creators hoped for, according to Mark Uncles from the University of NSW's Australian school of business.

"Those who condemn the ads just feed the publicity machine," Professor Uncles said. "So in a sense they make the product even more exciting and help to generate an even bigger emotional response."

A spokesman for Unilever declined to comment. But Lynx's senior brand manager at Unilever, Duncan Robertson, told the B&T website the product was a "maverick brand aimed at young men who like their humour sharp and edgy". "This campaign responds to that."

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