Fuming parents today slammed ITV bosses after the channel aired a saucy electronic cigarette advert which appeared to show a woman talking about giving a man ORAL SEX during a break in ‘I’m a Celebrity’.
Shocked viewers who tuned in to watch the family favourite show – which this year stars TOWIE hunk Joey Essex and model Amy Willerton – were met with the ‘smutty’ commercial in a break.
The ad – which features a stunning brunette in a black cocktail dress – sparked accusations of sexism and even promoting RAPE.
Advertising watchdogs confirmed yesterday they had launched an investigation into the “offensive” promo after they received 147 complaints from audiences.
In the 20-second clip, which aired after the watershed at around 9.10 pm, the woman stares down the camera lens and utters a number of suggestive phrases.
She purrs lines like ” I want you to get it out” and “I want to put it in my mouth” – suggesting she is referring to a sex act.
She even says: “I want to see how great it tastes.”
The advert ends with a cheeky twist which reveals the product being advertised is actually an electronic cigarette.
But many said it should not have been aired during popular I’m a Celebrity show, which notched up 12 million viewers when it started last month.
Outraged viewers were quick to slam the “smutty” advert – and criticised ITV bosses for allowing it to be shown during one of its most popular shows when families would be watching.
One said: “My lad’s 14 so he likes to watch the challenges, especially the gruesome trials they do with insects and other creatures.
“They usually beep out the swearing so I’m not too bothered about him watching it.
“But when that advert came on in the break I was appalled – it shouldn’t be shown so close to the watershed.
“I’m not prude but I don’t want my son exposed to that kind of thing.
“It has no place on a channel watched by millions of people.”
When the advert aired on Monday night Twitter users took to the site to express their shock.
Louise Edwards tweeted at the channel’s official account to voice her disgust.
She wrote: “I really object to VIP advert just shown on ITV talk about the wrong messages to young people watching I’m a celeb #disgraceful.”
Reece Doyle even accused the advert of promoting sex crimes.
He said: “I really do not like the VIP advert. There are obvious allusions to rape. Utterly disgraceful.”
Jodie Pullman added: “The VIP Ecig advert is awful. Needs removing off TV that does.”
Teen Sean West spoke of an awkward exchange with his mum and dad after the advert appeared on their TV.
He wrote: “Yeah that VIP advert was awkward in front of my parents.”
An ASA spokesman said today the watchdog had received 147 complaints from members of the public about the VIP e-cigarettes advert.
He added that the formal investigation into the commercial had only just been launched and was expected to conclude after Christmas.
A spokesman said: “The ASA has received a significant number of complaints about two TV ads for VIP electronic cigarettes.
“One ad shows a woman, and the other a man, both speaking directly to the camera.
“Complainants object that the language used in the ads is overly sexual and offensive while others object that the ad sexualises and glamorises e-cigarettes and/or smoking.
“We have now launched a formal investigation into these ads.”
Makers of the VIP e-cig said they had created the commercial in response to an EU ban on actually showing their product on-screen.
Miguel Corral, co-owner of VIP Electronic Cigarettes, defended the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ ad yesterday.
He said: “I think it’s safe to say that our ads could be considered controversial and definitely push boundaries.
“Due to advertising regulations we were not permitted to include the product in the ad, so we decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to appeal to an adult audience and communicate the superior taste of VIP products, whilst making it clear that the product does contain nicotine and that they are only available to smokers over the age of 18.
“We anticipated that the creative treatment for this campaign would cause comment and we were ready for this, but I want to make it very clear that as a leading e-cigarette manufacturer we take our responsibilities extremely seriously which is evident in our decision not to broadcast the ads before the watershed and follow the advertising rules closely.
“E-cigarettes offer smokers an alternative that is widely regarded to be less damaging to health than traditional tobacco cigarettes and at VIP we only market our products to existing smokers over the age of 18.
“With the e-cigarette industry as a whole continuing to come under scrutiny both from health professionals and regulators it is vital that only the best quality products are available to consumers.
“Through our TV campaign we hope we can communicate that VIP offers this level of quality in a fun, slightly cheeky and memorable way.”