Tuesday, July 10, 2012

LYNX in the UK

At school last year, I did a group project about how the commercials for the personal hygiene product, AXE, was getting challenged by a number of groups in the U.S. for overly sexual and offensive advertisements.  As we researched, we learned about a product called LYNX, which is actually the same thing with a different name in the UK and France.  While I was in Boots, the beauty supply store near Trinity College, I noticed this familiar item on the shelf.  Since most of the research we did at home was about groups fighting against AXE ads, I wanted to research if people in the UK had the same problems with the product's advertising as well.

What I found:
There is actually an ongoing online petition in the UK right now for women to sign that want LYNX to stop using women so sexually in their advertisements.  They are up to 75 signatures.  Unfortunately, the petition needs at least 1,000 signatures to gain any notice from the ASA, which is the UK's independent  regulator of advertising across all media.  An article was also published in a British newspaper about how LYNX's 'Clean Your Balls' advertisement offended so many people that a lobby group put in a complaint to the ASA.  The article refers to these ads creating a "second class status of women" in the UK.  Lastly, LYNX came out with a groups of ads and in it they included "fallen angels."  In these ads, it showed angels falling at the scent of LYNX body spray on a man.  LYNX then added a game to their Facebook where players could try to awaken the archangel with the scent.  This campaign got a lot of negative responses especially from people in Europe who were deeply religious.  People challenged these ads and their hard work actually got the ad banned in Europe (the US version was not banned).  Through my research, I found that people in Europe have just as many problems with LYNX as they do in the U.S.  Sometimes, the company loves the attention and other times the company suffers by having to remove parts of their ad campaigns.


  1. Before I left for study abroad, I was having lunch with a friend who asked me, "Do you know what's illegal in Europe?" She responded to her own question with, "nothing!"

    I do think it's interesting that many of us view Europe as a continent of loose morals and permissible activities frowned upon in the United States. Though of course there are European areas defined by those traits, those type places can be found anywhere in the world.

    It's good to realize some European groups are just as passionate in their campaigns for social justice. I wonder how difficult it was to have the fallen angels ads removed. A thousand signatures really doesn't seem like that much, so it's odd to me that the attack on LYNX hasn't had more success.

    Perhaps, signing a petition here requires a higher level of commitment than in the states. At UGA it always seems we'll pretty much sign anything-especially if you offer us a Chick-Fil-A coupon.

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  3. I am always a little skeptical of online petitions and shocked by the amount of influence they have over public opinion. If you think about it, anyone with an email dress can sign it, and you could, potentially, sign it more than once, if you have more than one email address and use a fake name.

    However, online petitions are not the only documents that cause my skepticism to flair. The other weekend, a group of us had the opportunity to spend some time in London, and while we were walking to our accommodations, we passed a group of protesters, trying to rally against the destruction of a building they said was “fundamental” to their community. They asked each of us to sign a petition against this action, and when we told them we were not from the area, they were not phased in the least; they said it didn’t really matter—they just needed names on the page.

    If this is the case, I wonder how much validity petitions hold in this day and age? Are passersby really just willing to sign a document supporting anyone’s cause? Do efforts in the UK really differ from those taken by student groups in Athens, GA?