Shake, Rattle and Roll

Ann Summers, a British High Street retailer of lingerie and underwear, has come under fire from Apple for a new sex toy and its ad campaign.

The iGasm is a £30 gadget that plugs into any music player and vibrates to the beat of your favourite tunes. Results may vary.

But the real controversy is not over the similarly-named (and designed) device itself, but rather over the posters. According to a MacWorld article:

A News of the World report claims Apple is furious about Ann Summer’s promotion of the device, and is demanding all posters for the gadget be taken down, under threat of court action…Apple is claiming the ad to be an abuse of the silhouette-based images it uses in its own advertising.

Clearly, the Ann Summers posters are designed to play off the strengths and distinction of the iPod posters which have been around since, what, 2002. While the parody is transparent, I feel AS crossed a line when they A.) used a well-known icon to market sex toys, and B.) tried to make money from someone else’s advertising concepts. Be original people!

I find the whole concept of the cheekily-name iGasm to be tacky, at best; it’s the sort of thing you’d find in the back pages of ZOO magazine. And their strapline, “Go at it hard and fast with a pounding drum ‘n’ bass track or chill with an ambient classic.” seems to this observer to be rather cumbersome. Still, I had to chuckle at the response from Ann Summers boss Jaqueline Gold:

“Perhaps I can send them an iGasm to put a smile back on their faces!”

Perhaps a better strapline would have simply been “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, or “Such a Good Vibration”. I mean, if we’re ripping people off, might as well go all the way.