WHERE is the First Year Marketing textbook that says ‘‘sex sells’’? Because I’d like to get every copy of
it, put it on a great big bonfire, and dance around it. Naked. No, not naked, fully clothed, in a wholesome way.

Is anyone else sick of lazy advertising in which a product is marketed by thrusting (pardon the pun) a sexuality on to it that it didn’t previously possess?

Take yoghurt, for example. If it’s not low-fat or organic, it seems advertisers run out of things to say. Clearly ‘‘it comes from cows and tastes like fruit’’ didn’t cut it in the board meeting, so some bright spark said ‘‘let’s just picture a woman eating it, and pretend she’s having an orgasm’’.

What ridiculous idea is this? Firstly – it’s yoghurt, for goodness sake. It’s not even chocolate. I’m sorry, but yoghurt just ISN’T sexy. Especially when you pronounce it yoggurt. Shudder.

Secondly – has anyone EVER eaten a yoghurt and made that face that all women make in yoghurt ads? You know the one – closed eyes, hunched shoulders and a dreamy, smiley face. I don’t know what they’re putting in THEIR yoghurt (Ecstasy?) or who’s doing WHAT to them out of shot, but that certainly doesn’t happen to me when I eat yoghurt.

Unless it’s that stuff from that shop in the Central Market, in which case I like to eat it alone, in a darkened room, with Marvin Gaye on the stereo.


It’s not just yoghurt that gets the treatment. It’s any old crap that advertising agencies clearly can’t be bothered thinking up new, relevant campaigns for.

Nando’s is a case in point. They sell chicken burgers and chips. What better way to sell a hot chicken family
meal than with a stripper flashing her bum in a businessman’s face? Well? How would YOU sell chicken?

Recently the Sunday Mail ran figures from the Advertising Standards Bureau showing that now infamous 2007 Nando’s commercial was the most complained about Australian ad of the decade. Anyone surprised?

Advertisers pull this cheap stunt on almost everything: chewing gum, breath mints, dental floss, toilet paper... OK, so I made the last two up, but I wouldn’t put it past them.

Why? And why is it always women? Why don’t we ever see any men moaning and groaning over their Balfours pie or Pale Ale?

Chocolate, ice cream, Baileys – sure, I can understand the need to involve a bit of slap and tickle in the marketing of those. They’re pretty sexy products.

Especially if you use them all at the same time in a darkened room with Marvin Gaye on the stereo.

First published in the Sunday Mail, May 30, 2010.