Deodorant advert with dirty talking polar bear slammed by UK watchdog

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 26-Jan-2023

The advert by Wild Cosmetics has been criticised for featuring masturbation and appearing on a YouTube channel popular with children

A deodorant ad featuring a woman masturbating and a dirty talking polar bear has been criticised by Britain's advertising watchdog. 

The advert for Wild Cosmetics, shown in September, was intended to highlight the benefits of its refillable packaging format and the negative impact of single-use plastics. 

It showed one woman under the bedcovers appearing to be masturbating, while watching a computer screen, before being interrupted by a polar bear. 

The pair then facilitate her 'climate change kink'' through a rapid-fire exchange, such as "I'm your little out of season strawberry" and "I don't always separate my recycling". 

But the advert has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as it appeared on a YouTube video that would appeal to children. 

The complainant, whose ten-year-old son saw the advert, claimed it was shown before a video about the popular game Minecraft on YouTube channel DanTDM. 

DanTDM has more than 26 million subscribers and posts videos about games popular with children, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Lego and Pokemon. 

"In light of the ad’s reference to masturbation we considered that the ad should have been appropriately targeted to avoid the risk of children seeing it," stated the ASA. 

Wild Cosmetics told the ASA it "targeted their YouTube ads based on users’ interests, for example health and beauty, and it was likely that someone deemed a prospective customer had been logged into the YouTube account at the time the ad was shown."

The deodorant brand said it did not choose which YouTube videos its advert was shown with as this was "controlled by the algorithm". 

Google, YouTube's parent company, said it was the advertiser's responsibility to follow regulations and that they provided tools to support brands. It did not comment on the specific advert. 

Wild Cosmetics has been ordered to not display the advert in media that is likely to appeal to children. 


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