John Dowie: All this nudity won't make me buy soap powder

Share

If French Connection UK think they're getting their hands on any of my hard-earned cash, they can think again. They might think it stylish and amusing to splash anagrams of the F-word all over buses and billboards, but I don't. And neither does a dyslexic I know. If they were selling smutty comics or stink bombs, I could understand the logic. "We need a logo to attract a 13-year-old with no sense of humour," their reasoning would run. But this is meant to be a clothes shop for grown-ups? Do me a favour.

If French Connection UK think they're getting their hands on any of my hard-earned cash, they can think again. They might think it stylish and amusing to splash anagrams of the F-word all over buses and billboards, but I don't. And neither does a dyslexic I know. If they were selling smutty comics or stink bombs, I could understand the logic. "We need a logo to attract a 13-year-old with no sense of humour," their reasoning would run. But this is meant to be a clothes shop for grown-ups? Do me a favour.

The Advertising Standards Authority receives more complaints about sex than anything else. Not that it'll make much difference. Already forthcoming is an advert for Flash (a household cleaner) featuring a naked couple frolicking in a fountain (huh?). And if I want to buy some bread, which brand will I choose? Hovis, of course. Why? Because they run an ad with a bread roll saying, "Butter me and I go down a treat." In an older, gentler time, when Hovis wanted to persuade me to buy their bread, they had to use shire horses and brass bands. Now it's a cheesy reference to fellatio. Strange, though, to run an ad that implies the product will stick in your throat and make you want to spit it out afterwards.

And soon I'll be able to feast my eyes on Naomi Campbell standing about in a bikini. What is she advertising? Bikinis? Don't be daft. Leg waxing? Grow up. What then? Washing-up liquid, of course. Oh, yeah. I'm always doing my washing-up in a bikini. Makes perfect sense. The ad will feature Naomi wearing designer washing-up gloves, though, so it's not all sleaze.

I wish some of these whizz-kids in the advertising world would remember that a large proportion of their audience has grown up. We know what sex is. Some of us have even done it. A picture of Kylie Minogue scratching her airbrushed bottom will not make us rush out and buy your magazine. We are not impressed by nudity. We leave that to simpletons, sad lads and dirty old men.

I come from a more dignified time. In my youth, celebrities of the day kept their private bits private. You wouldn't see Margaret Rutherford and Charles Hawtry splashing about in a fountain with nothing on. Jack Warner and Peggy Mount did not have sex in front of a mirror in something called Eyes Wide Shut (the only way to watch the movie). Even today, Thora Hird does not ride her stai lift naked.

I once sat down with my kids to watch a video tape of Shakespeare in Love. They were against the idea at first, but, as the film unfolded, they really enjoyed the story, the dialogue and the humour, as did I. But then, slap-bang in the middle of the film, we had to squirm through an eternity of Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes in bed with nothing on. Well, we didn't. We hit the fast-forward button before you could say "yuck." But why was the scene there? Did it enhance the story, did it reveal any subtleties of plot or character? Or did it simply give me the chance to glimpse a total stranger's breasts?

I'll let Jerry Hall be the judge of that. As of this evening, she will be standing naked on the West End stage for about 30 seconds, while sad people in the cheap seats think, "This was £17.50 well spent." I don't know why they bother to do the play. For those who are interested, a perfect night out would be just the 30 seconds. The curtains open, you see a celebrity with nothing on, curtains close, time for a pint afterwards, plus you can pick up a Hovis loaf before the shops shut.

But they have to do the play. You can't just have 30 seconds of luminary nudity. Otherwise, they'd have to run advertisements along the lines of, "Thrill to the nipples that Mick Jagger used to tickle," and they wouldn't want to do that. That would be degrading. You might even say obscene.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Belong: Volunteer Mentor for Offenders

This is a volunteer role with paid expenses : Belong: Seeking volunteers who c...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Apprentice Telesales & Marketing Opportunities

£10400 - £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing, ambitious, en...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

An unelectable extremist who hijacked their party has already served as prime minister – her name was Margaret Thatcher

Jacques Peretti
A Del Tajo la Reina's bull falls during the second  

Spain's torture of bulls has hit a gruesome peak this year – and no thanks to the EU

Mimi Bekhechi
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests