Axe / Lynx threatens to boycott Vice magazine over Hamburgers 'art contest' with sex offenders

It's all over the internet, that Neil Hamburger's "AXE body spray and sexual offenders" art contest didn't go over so well with AXE. Hamburgers column in Vice magazine read like this and asked people to submit 'art contest' hoax ads, where Axe body spray was combined with images from the Sex Offender Registry. Axe balked at the idea and threatened to boycott Vice magazine. Vice removed Hamburgers column, but as the Streisand effect dictates, when you try to quell something it'll pop up everywhere else on the internet. @funartcontest on twitter keeps track of the entries, interspliced with Axe-hating jokes and comics mocking Axe's selling proposition. Hamburger clearly doesn't like Axe:

AXE’s master chemist seems to be developing their various fragrances by dumping varying amounts of Hawaiian Punch and/or Country Time Lemonade into the trough-style urinals at Dodger Stadium during the top of the 9th inning—the end product an amalgam resulting from the capture and replication of the the resulting combination of odors.

We don't really need Hamburgers warped contest to see twisted Axe / Lynx ads, they've made those themselves. Remember the "upskirt" mousepad?

...and of course, there was the "upskirt" soap dispenser, an idea I find rather gross.

The campaign strategy for Axe / Lynx has been for years that women will do anything to get with an Axe-man, getting dirty just to be hosed down with the famous Axe peel that's good for "scrubbing away the skank".

In fact, women will drop everything anywhere, just to get with an Axe man if you are to believe the stickers in restrooms. Surely public sex is some sort of offense somewhere, it is at least indecent exposure in most countries. So you'd think Axe / Lynx wouldn't have a problem with this joke on their behalf... ;)

The Axe/Lynx campaign has had its moments, and its lows. We've come a long way from my personal favourite, that started it all back in 1996.

Lynx / Axe - Paid Piper Revenge - (1996) 0:60 (UK)

These days, Axe ejects women it doesn't like, which is more mean-spirited than cleverly humorous.

Selling cologne on the idea that it attracts females, even drives them wild, isn't something new though. Hi-Karate did it back in the seventies.

Hi-Karate - Date / Kung-fu (1974) :30 (USA)

It's not the first time an advertiser has threatened to boycott a publication or show due to its content, but it seems to me this case is pretty much brought on by Axe themselves. Only American Apparel would make a better target.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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    Jun 10, 2011
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