Polish brand House, part of the Artman fashion company, has provoked much discussion around its latest campaign for the Virginity line with posters, billboards and online images playing with the theme of virginity and its loss. The Virginity campaign, aimed at 19 to 25 year olds, features a young man and a young woman with rosary beads, holding their fingers in some posters in innocuous positions, in others using their tongues and fingers to suggest the 69 sexual position.
STRZEZ MNIE OJCZE (Protect me, father)
Not surprisingly, the Catholic church has raised objections to the imagery. “These peculiar adverts offend against good taste – hence the protests,” said Jakub Mlost, chairperson of the Catholic Youth Association in Poland’s Krakow archdiocese.
“We know there’s been liberalisation in certain areas of life, but these adverts violate our values. Some young people can look at the posters and just laugh. But they degrade the advertising market, where everything has been allowed anyway and the borders are still being constantly pushed back,” Mlost said.
The advertisements have been defended by the designer, Rafal Betlejewski, who said they were intended to show that “virtue is sexy and awakens creativity”.
Rafal Sajewicz, marketing director at House, insisted the number 69 was purely coincidental and dismissed the adverts’ erotic associations as an “unauthorised simplification”. He said the objects in the images had too few beads to qualify as Catholic rosaries. “Our campaign isn’t aimed at offending anyone’s feelings, least of all religious ones,” Sajewicz told Rzeczpospolita. “We’re promoting creative sexuality in the context of virtue and virginity as an important aspect of the life of the young generation, who make up most of our clients.”
JEST 69 SPOSOBOW NA ZACHOWANIE DZIEWICTWA – A TY?
(I know 69 ways to keep my virginity – do you?)
See Marketing and More for the story in Polish and high definition copies of the billboards.