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Ad of the Day: Lovehoney accuses big tech of ‘treating sexuality as something sinful’


By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

June 7, 2022 | 3 min read

Sexual wellbeing brand Lovehoney has launched a billboard campaign to help consenting adults turn off Google SafeSearch to find its sex-positive content and products.


McCann Birmingham created this ad for Lovehoney / McCann Birmingham

‘Ogle’ sees the recognizable primary colors of the Google search engine alongside the copy: “Turn off SafeSearch to lay eyes on our full range.”

The campaign, created by McCann Birmingham, comes after Lovehoney noted that changes to SafeSearch in 2021 meant an estimated 700,000 customers were prevented from finding the brand in the space of just two months.

“Although we are fully in support of the SafeSearch feature for under 18s, there seem to be some clear inconsistencies that are ultimately harming sex-positive companies and the consenting adults that are trying to find information on the topic,” said Johanna Rief, head of sexual empowerment at Lovehoney Group.

“Unfortunately, it is just another example of Big Tech treating sexuality as something that is sinful, while allowing other harmful content to slip through the net.”

According to the brand, it has made over 600 complaints to search engines about this issue.

“This campaign tackles an issue that is having a real impact on brands like Lovehoney,” added Adam Bodfish, executive creative director at McCann Birmingham.

“Finding a way to grab the attention of Big Tech for a sexual wellness brand and hitting the right tone was a creative challenge that the McCann Birmingham team embraced fully.”

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