Naked came the ad

In the spirit of “Zesty Anderson Davis” (with the actor skirting nudity in the service of Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing), Chris Ambidge has pointed me to two other ads that go all the way (while managing to avoid genital nudity): one for the British Heart Foundation, suggesting sex (perhaps in conjunction with swimming) as good for heart health:


(Buttocks, but nothing else.)

And the other in a commercial for Richmond ham, in which everyone is naked, while the central figure celebrates his ham sandwich in song:


In this one, everyone just barely manages to avoid crossing the X line. A print ad:


And two stills from the video:



The ad caused a controversy, but not the one you might have expected. From the Daily Mail, under the head “Banned, ham advert that hid the naked truth: Product claimed to be made in Britain when it was Irish (but the naked man strolling around was fine)”:

Watchdogs have ruled that a TV ad featuring a naked man strolling through the countryside wearing nothing but a cap was not offensive.

The commercial for Richmond ham was supposed to be a light-hearted attempt to present the product as natural and wholesome.

However, it drew 370 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from shocked viewers with many arguing it was both offensive and unsuitable to be seen by children.

The TV ad showed the man standing in a field admiring a sandwich before strolling past a group of naked people who were eating a picnic.

As he walked, the man sang: ‘Oh Richmond ham, as nature intended, you’ve nothing to hide Richmond ham, to me you taste blooming splendid.’

A voice-over then added: ‘New Richmond ham. Britain’s only ham made with 100 per cent natural ingredients.’

The company said the ad demonstrated a ‘well-adjusted, comfortable, and completely non-sexual attitude to the human body’, while surveys with mums had received a positive response.

That defence has been accepted by the ASA in a ruling published today.

The watchdog said: ‘Consumers would understand that it was a light-hearted reference to the product being ‘as nature intended’.

‘Whilst we understood the ad may not appeal to everyone, we considered that it was not sexual in tone and we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.’

But, while the ASA was happy with the nudity, it has decided to ban the commercial on the basis it gave a misleading impression about where the ham was made.

For while the advertisement described it has ‘Britain’s only ham made with 100 per cent natural ingredients’, the product is actually made in Ireland by Kerry Foods.

The ASA said: ‘Whilst we accepted the ad did not refer directly to the provenance of the product, we considered that describing the product as Britain’s only ham was likely to be interpreted by consumers as meaning the product was British in origin, when in fact that was not the case.

‘We therefore concluded that the claim was misleading.’

Richmond Foods makes more than ham. There are also pork sausages, seen on the left in this ad in their full phallic splendor and on the right in combination with mash and peas (in other ads, you get baked beans):


Sturdy British food. With a sense of humor.

3 Responses to “Naked came the ad”

  1. Lauren Gawne Says:

    The way the Richmond Ham add is shot reminds me of Manet’s “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” – except that everyone gets to be naked now:

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Note that the women’s breasts are shown, but their nipples are carefully concealed.

  3. Sexy olive oil | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] lots of naked people (with the naughty bits cleverly concealed) in a funny Richmond ham comercial (here). Now (passed on by several people on Facebook) still more sexy silly food advertising, from […]

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