You’ve probably heard about the new ad for Trojan condoms. It’s actually pretty clever, showing young guys in a dance club coming on to women. The guys are depicted as actual pigs (the special effects are cool), and the women are understandably turned off.
Then a guy/pig goes to the men’s room, gets a condom from a vending machine, and is transformed into a good-looking Mr. Right (or at least Mr. Right for Tonight), who gets plenty of smiles from the ladies.
The good news: the ad will run on ABC, NBC, MTV, Comedy Central, and seven other cable networks. Companion print ads will appear in 11 magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Glamour.
The bad news: The Fox and CBS TV networks rejected the commercial. Both had run Trojan’s previous campaign, which urged condom use because a partner might be HIV-positive and not even know it.
Fox refused the new ad, saying, “Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy, even with late-night-only restrictions.” And CBS “did not find it appropriate” for the network.
The good news: the bad news is all over the internet, where even more people are watching the commercial.
Apparently, Fox and CBS will help sell a condom to prevent disease and death, but not to enhance quality of life. They say you can sell a condom to diminish the deadly effects of sex, but you can’t sell a condom to help make sex an enjoyable part of life. What a perfect example of how sick America is.
By any measure, America has the poorest sexual health of any industrial nation. We have more STDs, use less contraception, have the highest rate of unintended pregnancy (49% of all U.S. pregnancies), spend more money prosecuting victimless erotic behavior like prostitution and lap dancing, have among the most restrictions around abortion, and spend more money indoctrinating kids to not have sex.
America now leads the industrialized world in sexual hypocrisy. With Fox and CBS promoting sex, sex, sex on both its shows and its ads (CBS’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show scored a double hit), it is astonishing that they can refuse a commercial acknowledging that sex has consequences—and encouraging young people to address them. No, better to run ads for the movie Knocked Up, in which people get drunk, have unprotected sex, and—how’s this for hilarious?—get accidentally pregnant and have a baby! Now that’s American!
I can’t wait for Fox messiah Bill O’Reilly to blast his bosses’ hypocrisy. Yeah, the same day that pigs will fly.
The American media have long been criticized for using sex to sell everything from toothpaste to cars. Apparently, you can use sex to sell everything—except condoms.