The cartoon superhero has “Sexy Man” across his chest and the tagline “Super ideas for Father’s Day”.
Australian Family Association president Angela Conway told the Herald Sun “Given they are using the superman image reinforces that they are targeting kids or, at the very least, are recklessly indifferent to the impact the signs would be having on parents who try to mediate what their kids are exposed to. These type of sexualised messages should not be allowed in the public domain.”
Interestingly, DC Comics, the owners of the Superman film rights haven’t complained, although they are no doubt protective guardians of the very valuable rights (see previous blog entry on the original sale of Superman rights for $130).
They could very easily say that the ad is abusing their rights.
But it’s a catch-22. If they complain, they could draw unnecessary attention (and give extra free publicity) to an adult products retailer with whom they would not want to be associated.
It’s always worth thinking twice before unleashing the lawyers.