Now Reading
WATCH: Lynx advert with gay kiss is one of the most complained about in Australia this year

WATCH: Lynx advert with gay kiss is one of the most complained about in Australia this year

The Lynx hair gel advert

An advert for a Lynx grooming product  that included a kiss between two men has made the list of top ten most-complained-about commercials in Australia this year, reports International Business Times.

Lynx, which is owned by Unilever, is well known for its men’s deodorants, which it often advertises with exaggerated claims about their power to make men more attractive to the opposite sex.

One of the latest additions to its range is a new hair gel product. The advert encouraged men to style their hair and make the most of it while they still have some.

‘Get an amazing job. Kiss the hottest girl. Or the hottest boy,’ says the narrator, while the advert’s protagonist shares a brief kiss with a silver screen heroine and then a dashing male co-star.

In a listing drawn up by the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), the 60-second film came in as the seventh most-complained-about advert in the country in the last 12 months. The ad made its debuted online last December but was seen more widely when it was shown on TV in the spring. It prompted 62 complaints.

The primary cause of the complaints was the gay kiss; one of those to contact the ASB said it represented ‘the gay agenda forced into the home through ads.’

Another said, ‘Being confronted by a hair product ad that had a male character kiss another male character – I nearly fell off the lounge! Yes, Australia is a free country, but this ad seems to me to show the gay minority dictating terms to the (normal) majority!!’

Several complained about the advert being shown at a time when children would see it.

‘This is immoral and deeply offends my/our religious beliefs and family values,’ said one. ‘What’s worse is our young boys witnessed this ad a number of times and is something they just should not see.’

One of those to complain was a teacher, who said, ‘Homosexuals represent a tiny fraction of our population (1/50th). They can do as they please privately, but their practices should not be displayed publically due to their high offensive nature, as millions of Australians interpret it. These are values which we don’t want our kids exposed to.’

The ASB dismissed the complaints against the commercial, ruling that, ‘the kiss is fleeting and in today’s society it is not inappropriate to show gay intimacy particularly in an advertisement that is humorous and over-the-top.’

Globally, Unilever enjoys a good reputation for diversity and inclusion. In the US, it has consistently scored the top ranking of 100 in Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

The advert to prompt the most complaints (161) in 2015 was for a Holden car, in which a young boy mimics his father in decrying ‘bloody caravaners’. Those complaining thought it inappropriate that a child should be shown swearing. The ASB again dismissed these complaints.

However, the regulatory authority did uphold the 138 complaints against an advert for controversial extra-marital affair website, Ashley Madison. It was the second most-complained-about commercial and featured men singing, ‘I’m looking for someone other than my wife.’