New York City’s Times Square is pulling the plug on a new billboard campaign for Plugg Jeans, as the commercial has been deemed too suggestive for public display.
The ad features a young man holding a woman, with the woman’s hand very close to the man’s upper thigh.
“They welcome innovation, but they don’t welcome a return to pornography … and when a lady appears to be grabbing a young man’s crotch, that’s a little out there,” Tommy Turner, senior vice president of Van Wagner Outdoor, the media company representing the building’s landlord, told Advertising Age. “What one person thinks is edgy or hip and perfectly acceptable, others may view as suggestive to a fault or even offensive.”
The image was created by M Media, New York, hoping to “stop traffic, literally” on a billboard at 41st Street and 7th Avenue near Times Square.
The commercial was also rejected by teen magazines Elle Girl and Teen People, while Cosmo Girl accepted it in its original form with only minor adjustments and Jane approving it as is.
“We wanted something exciting, something provocative, it doesn’t make sense otherwise to spend the money to be in Times Square,” Andrew Kirpalani, president of Plugg’s parent company Andrew International told Ad Age.
Kirpalani was surprised at the negative reaction to the image, noting that Paris Hilton is appearing in a prime-time TV burger campaign which has been likened to soft-core pornography.
Michael Cooper, creative director at M Media, is now looking to amend the ad to make it more acceptable.
He’s reportedly changing the couple’s position, softening the man’s muscle definition, and raising the waistline on the pants to cover the so-called “GI Joe Muscle,” which is apparently “still forbidden territory to show,” Cooper said.