London: An advertisement featuring senior citizens simulating sexual acts has sparked shock and outrage from consumers.
The video campaign, released by U.S. organisation SaferSex4Seniors.org, is designed to promote safe sex through use of condoms, following news that STDs among sexually-active seniors in Florida had risen by 71percent over the past five years.
But many believe the group, while promoting a worthy cause, has taken shock tactics too far.
The 30-second video, released on YouTube, shows a group of elderly men and women mocking the performance of fellatio as well as other challenging sexual positions.
In one scene, a particularly strong man is holding a woman who is standing upside down on her elbows. Deadpan expressions are shown on their faces.
But Akila Gibbs, the executive director of the Pasadena Senior Center believes that the ad detracts attention from the campaign``s cause.
“I think it looks like they``re making fun of seniors, more than they``re educating them,” the Daily Mail quoted Gibbs as telling Wsbt.com.
“Nobody wants to think about – let alone picture – their Grandma doing it,” Gothamist.com said.
Randy Matheson, a Canadian media blogger, was shocked by the footage.
“While I can only hope that no hips were ``dislodged`` in the making of this PSA featuring spry senior couples acting out positions from the Kama Sutra, I cramped up just watching the video,” Matheson wrote on his blog.
Twitter has drawn the comments of further shocked consumers.
A post by @Robertoames read: “Um, wow. Watch through your hands!”
Another by @t2hicks asked: “Who paid for this!”
DDB, the New York-based advertising agency which produced the video has defended its campaign, describing it as a “strategic choice to use humor and shock value”.
“Rather than taking a negative approach that uses scare tactics and piles on statistics to deter unsafe sex, DDB made the strategic choice to use humor and shock value,” a spokesman told Gothamist.com.
“Whether the younger generation likes it or not, our grandparents are having sex.
“We wanted to make a sexy ad that maintains a level of tastefulness and encourages seniors to enjoy their sex lives – safely,” he added.
Safer Sex For Seniors, aims to provide ``accurate, up-to-date information from experts in the field``.
It is formed of an independent collective of professional sexuality educators, researchers, authors, trainers, counselors, and therapists and provides fact sheets and advice via its website.