Medicine And The Media

A victory for safe sex

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 16 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:714
  1. Richard Mendelsohn,
  2. Jackie Chambers

    “Discover your erogenous zone” is a declaration that is difficult to ignore, and on a full size billboard poster it is impossible. This was the slogan that Club 18-30 used to sell young adults their Mediterranean holidays, promising sexual adventure and alcoholic excess.

    The campaign, perhaps inspired by the Benetton school of copywriting, succeeded in inflaming the local press, which ran headlines such as “outraged by sexy selling.” The Advertising Standards Authority received 314 complaints from all parts of the United Kingdom accusing the posters of being obscene, irresponsible, and offensive. This included one from us. As the agency responsible for the public health of Birmingham residents, we wrote to the authority complaining that the posters had undermined sexual health promotion efforts and may have promoted the idea that anticipated sexual activity will be risk free.

    The Advertising …

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