Bulge puts Virgin in tight spot

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Sexual innuendo on giant posters promoting a new Virgin video game for children has provoked complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

The slogan for the "Earthworm Jim" video game is "Get your worm out for the birds". The left side of the poster, displayed on 600 hoardings nationwide, features a male dancer with bulging tights. At the end of an arrow pointing to the bulge is a caption:"Not this one". The right side of the poster then tells you that the one to get out is the product.

One poster distributor has censored half the posters by removing the arrow but now the authority is considering whether they should all be withdrawn.

A spokeswoman for the authority said there had been a few complaints from around the country. "We have to consider whether the majority of people would find it offensive. Some people see it as offensive, but others find it amusing."

Most of the complaints were from men. "Perhaps they feel their masculinity is being belittled," she said.

One of those offended was Colin Anderson, deputy leader of the council at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. He said: "It is appalling poor taste to have an advert like this in Sunderland. I am sure it won't make anyone buy the product."