'Ill-Judged' Virgin Ad Is a Little Too Rapey

By Chris Mills on at

If you live in the US, it seems that Virgin Mobile wants you to associate its brand with rape sudden surprises -- or at least that's the message the ad team is pushing. As part of its advent-calendar style of an ad a day (what was wrong with chocolate?), Virgin Mobile US pushed out the above ad, which it later described as an "ill-advised move". That's the understatement of the year.

The ad, which was online-only and confined to the US, riled Twitter users and some domestic violence campaigners after it seemed to be making a joke out of rape. (Maybe the advertising team are big fans of 50 Shades of Grey?) Needless to say, the horribly meme-styled photo was pulled very quickly, especially after Sir Richard Branston weighed in. (It should be said, though, that he doesn't actually own Virgin Mobile US, it merely carries his branding.)

Virgin ad people, here's a hint: keep your deepest, darkest Christmas fantasies to in a deep and dark place. There's a line, and jokes about rape probably cross it. Not to mention, the ad looks suspiciously meme-y, and I can do without my eyeballs being assaulted by reddit-level humour every time I visit your site. [Guardian]

Image credit: Twitter