By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

June 13, 2023 | 4 min read

For the first time ever, the brand will air a spot on Channel 4 pre-watershed, marking a major milestone mainstream advertising journey.

Sexual wellness brand Lovehoney has been able to advertise its product on TV before 9pm for the first time ever. The spot will introduce the launch of sister brand Womanizer’s latest sex toy, Wave.

Back in 2011, Lovehoney made history as the first sex toy company to run TV ads for its products. Since then, the brand has been dedicated to destigmatizing pleasure and sexual wellness across the globe.

On the project, the company’s global brand director Helen Balmer, said: “Ourselves and our creative agency, Skylark Media, worked closely with Clearcast to work within requirements for a pre-9pm TV ad; ultimately, the ad was given a ‘non-kids classification’ – meaning it’s down to the broadcaster to determine which programs are appropriate for the advert to appear on. The greater challenge was creating an ad that complied, rather than securing the slot.”

Channel 4 has committed to running the campaign. The spot will run during programs including The Big Interiors Battle and has even aired during some morning programming on E4. Balmer declined to say if any broadcasters had rejected it.

Rather than looking at the limitations the team faced to make a ‘compliant advert’, the team instead saw it as a way to get creative with the creative.

“We usually can’t advertise pre-9pm and aren’t allowed to show any sex toys before 11pm, so we had to come up with an inventive way of promoting our product without actually showing it,” she continues. “We, therefore, had to come up with a playful, fun and intriguing way to do this, so arguably it was even more creative than usual.”

The ad comes just a matter of months after an ASA ruling deemed a Lovehoney billboard depicting a ball gag and the words “Silence is Golden Harry” to be ‘inappropriate’.

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“One of our great goals at Lovehoney is to normalize the conversation around sexual wellness and bring sex toys to the mainstream, and what better way of doing this with such a great product and a TV ad showing before the watershed?” concluded Balmer.

“This advert should go a long way in building awareness and acceptance among the general public towards the concept of sexual wellness, and it is certainly a step in the right direction.”

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