Sex toy ads are coming to prime time and daytime TV in the UK. The company behind them -- Lovehoney, a British online sex toy marketer -- is launching a new campaign, entitled, Live a Sexier Life" Oct. 3 on several outlets and shows, including the syndicated version of "Real Housewives of New York," which airs on ITV2.
According to the company, it's the first time a sex toy ad has been approved by UK advertising regulators for prime time and daytime TV in the country.
A company rep said that Lovehoney is expanding to the U.S. and that "there is a high probability that U.S. TV advertising will follow." Details about times and channels aren't set. In the U.S., ads for sex toys are generally confined to late-night hours.
Precise guidelines for the airing of such ads were unclear. An FCC spokesman did not return a call seeking clarification by deadline.
On Bravo in the U.S., "Real Housewives of New York" airs in prime time, and sex toy ads are not an option, a spokeswoman for the show said. "Not happening" under any circumstances, she stressed.
The spot was rejected by some UK outlets, including Yahoo and The SunOnline, according to Lovehoney.
The ad, produced by the UK's Halo Media, will also air on UK versions of MTV, E! Entertainment and other channels. Print ads will appear in Cosmopolitan, Company and Good Housekeeping, as well on a number of out-of-home ad platforms.
The Lovehoney TV ad does not show sex toys, or even refer to them. Rather, it shows a couple kissing, but in a stylized, slow-motion manner to a hot-sounding rock guitar riff, so that viewers get the impression a more passionate encounter is coming. When the music stops, however, the couple bid each other adieu and head for work. That's followed by the tagline: "Lovehoney.co.uk, the sexual happiness people."
On its Web site, Halo says the ad "shows the benefits of a healthy, happy, adventurous sex life without showing sex -- vital if you want to get on daytime TV."
The Lovehoney rep said outlets and shows were selected with a younger demographic profile in mind: adults ages 20 to 35. The initial flight is two weeks.