Lynx 'clean your balls' advert causes controversy Down Under
Double entendre-filled video of actress cleaning 'small balls' and 'hairy balls' accused of being hyper-sexualised
THE EPITOME of tongue-in-cheek humour or the embodiment of everything that is wrong with over-sexualised advertising? A new Lynx advert entitled 'Clean Your Balls' has provoked that very question in Australia this month – with many campaigners coming to the latter conclusion.
The three-minute commercial (below), very closely based on a US version that aired 18 months ago, has caused controversy Down Under. It features Australian pop singer and actress Sophie Monk taking on the appearance of a TV host selling the benefits of a new product – the Lynx buffer.
"Balls – no one wants to play with them when they're dirty," she starts. "That's why you have to keep your balls clean." Monk then proceeds to show how the new scrubber can do just that by cleaning a succession of sports balls, including "small balls" (golf), "hairy balls" (tennis) and a "big ball sack" (football).
Rehashing a single double entendre for 180 seconds would be a feat in itself for some people. But not everyone sees the funny side. Collective Shout, a lobby group that campaigns against the sexualisation of advertising, has put in a complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau.
Tankard Reist, co-founder of Collective Shout said that "objectifying women" in these "hyper-sexualised scenes" is actually harmful, adding: "They contribute to an ongoing second-class status of women."
Reist called Lynx, the male grooming brand owned by Unilever, "repeat corporate offenders" over their sexualised advertising. Last year, the company faced similar criticism in Australia with an advert featuring oiled-up women in minimal clothing explaining the rules of rugby, accompanied by slow-motion action shots.