ASA Adjudication on Life Healthcare LLC
Life Healthcare LLC t/a
24B Moorefield Road
24 October 2012
Number of complaints:
A leaflet, inserted into the catalogue Life Natural Cures, for Stiff Gel sexual enhancement gel. It was headlined "Stiff Gel XXX Triple Action. You too can benefit from the virility AND POTENCY OF PORN STARS!". The ad included various claims about enhanced sexual performance along with a testimonial and several images of naked couples in sexual poses. The women's breasts were visible in some of the shots and, while the some of the images included genitals that were pixelated or covered by information bubbles, erect penises were also visible. Diagrams of erect penises were also shown.
The ASA received two complaints, from a member of the National Assembly for Wales, who complained on behalf of a constituent, and a member of the public:
The complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and was unsuitable for an untargeted medium, in particular because it could be seen by children.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
MG Performance said the mailing was intended to appear only in adult top-shelf magazines and soft porn DVD mailings. They said they would ensure it was inserted into only suitable titles in future.
The ASA noted the mailing, which we understood appeared in a publication that promoted food supplements, also owned by Life Healthcare, contained overtly sexual content. We therefore considered it required very careful targeting to avoid causing offence to unsuspecting recipients. We understood from the complainants, however, that the mailing was unsolicited and considered it was therefore likely to cause serious and widespread offence. Because it was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and had not been appropriately targeted, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Responsible advertising) and 4.1 (Harm and offence).
The ad must not appear again in an untargeted medium. We told MG Performance to ensure similar mailings were appropriately targeted in future to avoid causing serious or widespread offence. We told them to also ensure they advertised with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society.