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‘Erotic’ Advent calendar ad too sexy for Swiss TV, but vibrators fit perfectly

‘Erotic’ Advent calendar ad too sexy for Swiss TV,  but vibrators fit perfectly
A remarkably prudish and sexless commercial for an erotic Advent calendar was deemed unfit for broadcasting by Swiss public broadcaster, but the ban only fueled hypocrisy accusations

The ad, promoting a product sold by online sex shop Amorana, leaves everything to the imagination. In it, a man takes a sniff of a scented candle and proclaims it a great Christmas present. A woman in superheroine-ish tights storms in, slaps him on the face and shoves the Advent calendar into his arms. “THAT is a great Christmas present,” she says.

According to Amorana’s website, the calendar contains a plethora of dildos, massage oils and toys for “anal adventures,” but none of these are seen in the ad, which seemed to have been designed to be as innocent as possible. Nevertheless, Switzerland’s public broadcaster, SRF, deemed it unfit for broadcast.

A spokesman for the broadcaster told 20 Minuten daily it has to take into account “moral values of minority groups” when vetting commercials.

Last year’s ad was a different story. Then, Amorana tried to air a commercial on SRF that left little uncovered. Titled ‘This is Love’, the ad was all bare skin, heavy breathing and homo and heterosexual kissing. The original 40-second version was eventually deemed too much even for YouTube, which deleted the clip. SRF rejected it too – even as Amorana cut the video first down to a 20 second version and later to a 10 second clip.

20 Minuten criticized SRF, saying its consideration for minorities didn’t stop it from airing a consumer test of best-selling vibrators last year. Amorana co-founder Alan Frei accused the broadcaster of double standards and adhering to backward values. “After all, we are no longer in the Middle Ages,” he said.

He added that he would have understood if SRF allowed the ad to only be shown in night-time slots, but the blanket ban was a step too much. The commercial will still be shown by private broadcasters in Switzerland.

Nevertheless, the publicity generated by the ban might be a good thing for Amorana. “Et voilà, through the media, the spot probably gets even more attention than if it had been on SRF ....... clever made Amorana,” read one reader’s comment on 20 Minuten. Another wondered why SRF kicked up such a fuss, considering “giant posters with toys” are hung at train stations in Switzerland.

Another had an entirely different beef with Amorana. “It annoys me that an advent calendar is advertised since the end of September,” the reader posted.

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