Habito is an online mortgage broker with a difference and what better way to show off its goods than utilising an ad based on the 'Mortgage Kama Sutra'... obviously.
This campaign was based on the fact that 1 in 10 couples apparently say that getting a mortgage made their sex lives hell. (Not the kind of question those couples expected to find on their property survey, I bet!)
The ad featured images suggestive of sexual positions and underscored the message alongside each one with such labels as “Downpayment Doggy”, “The Standing Variable Rate”, “Prime 69” and “The Base-rate Scissor”.
Habito took steps to ensure the ad was targeted appropriately, taking out space in Grazia magazine. However, two readers were still left a little hot under the collar and complained to the ASA that it was just too darn sexy!
Ok, they actually complained that it was 'offensive and irresponsible'.
But the ASA dismissed the complaints.
The ASA noted that "the ad appeared in a lifestyle magazine targeted at an adult audience and that it sought to draw attention to Habito’s mortgage services in a novel way by informing readers that the libido of one in ten couples was affected by the mortgage process."
They went on to confirm that "While we acknowledged that some would find the artistic illustrations of sexual positions and accompanying descriptions distasteful, they were not explicit and we considered that most readers were likely to view the ad as a humorous play on the results of the survey. Consequently, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to those who saw it and was not irresponsible."
So, sex continues to sell.... even mortgages!
You can read the full ruling here.
Mortgage broker Habito has dodged an ASA ad ban after its ‘Mortgage Kama Sutra’ put some Grazia readers in an uncomfortable position.