Responding to Censorship Lovehoney Gets Creative in ‘Not a Sex Toy’ Campaign

“Despite the proven benefits of sex toys for wellbeing and overall health, these restrictions force us to get creative.”

Sexual wellness brand, Lovehoney Australia, has launched a new OOH campaign creatively dubbed the “Not a Sex Toy” campaign. And it’s in response to censorship.

As part of the campaign, this week, billboards featuring household items that have been known to be used for pleasure, (ahem) have popped up across major Australian cities, bypassing advertising restrictions with a hefty dose of cheeky ingenuity.

The series of billboards comes on the heels of new research cited by the campaign revealing that over a third of Australians (34%) are getting creative with household objects for sexual satisfaction. “By spotlighting these everyday items, Lovehoney aims to highlight the need for proper, safe, and designed-for-purpose pleasure products, while bypassing advertising censorship the sexual wellness industry faces,” the brand said in a release.


 

In a series of ‘unbannable’ billboards, Lovehoney has showcased the most popular items Aussies are using in place of sex toys, including pillows (36%), shower heads (32%), vegetables (30%), electric toothbrushes (24%), mobile phones (18%), and even washing machines (10 %). The eye-catching ads carry a clear message: “You deserve better.”

“The ‘Not a Sex Toy’ campaign is our response to the extreme levels of censorship we face not only within traditional advertising avenues but also across digital platforms like Google and Meta,” said Charlie Ganzen, Lovehoney ANZ Director.

“Despite the proven benefits of sex toys for wellbeing and overall health, these restrictions force us to get creative. Our billboards showcase common household items Aussies are using for pleasure, sending a clear message, ‘Censorship might mean that we have to get creative, but you don’t. You deserve better.’ This campaign is not just about circumventing ad guidelines, it’s about sparking a conversation on why sexual wellness should be normalised and celebrated.”


 

The “Not a Sex Toy” campaign also comes after Lovehoney ranked fourth for Australia’s most complained-about ad of 2023 the brand said. The controversial billboard from last year, featuring the phrase “Winter chills have never felt so good” alongside an image of a hand holding a sexual wellness product, received 99 complaints, it added.

“We’ve dubbed these billboards the ‘Unbannable Ads’ because advertising guidelines restrict what they consider to be ‘explicit content’. This campaign is our creative response to those limitations, and it’s a playful nod to the resourcefulness of Aussies using everyday items for pleasure,” said Ganzen.

Christine Rafe, Lovehoney’s Sex and Relationship Expert, added “We love a bit of creativity in the bedroom at Lovehoney, but let’s keep it safe, folks! Household items aren’t designed for intimate fun and can lead to some pretty awkward doctor visits.

If you’re feeling adventurous, do a little research on how to play it safe, or better yet, invest in a purpose-made sex toy. These are crafted from safe materials and rigorously tested to ensure they’re perfect for the delicate areas they’re stimulating.”

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