Racy Bonds Christmas ad sparks uproar
Australian retailer Bonds has caused a stir online after featuring a same-sex couple its latest underwear campaign.
The ad depicts the two men - who are believed to be a real-life couple - sharing an intimate moment while wearing Bonds boxers, with the shoot posted on the brand's website and to its social media accounts.
Dubbed the "it's the Bonds that make the season" campaign, it marks a new direction for the underwear giant, which is increasingly using ethnically diverse models with a range of body types in ads and social media shoots.
Followers have inundated Bonds' social media feeds with comments, with many backing Bonds for supporting gay rights, while others have suggested the shoot is "inappropriate" and "tacky".
Ad Standards confirmed it had received "less than five complaints about the campaign which are currently being assessed," a spokeswoman said in a statement to News Corp today.
"If it was a man and woman making out it would be flagged inappropriate and too much, but the double standard of it being deemed appropriate because they're gay … it's too much," a follower wrote on Instagram.
Another added: "Even if it was a straight couple … No thanks Bonds you're not selling play boy lingerie."
"I find that advertisement inappropriate for a brand like Bonds. Is that really a direction that brand is taking?," said a follower, with another accusing Bonds of "tacky marketing".
"It's a inappropriate picture doesn't matter what sexuality the people are kissing it would still be inappropriate if it was a man kissing a women like that," a follower posted.
The comments continued: "Seriously bonds! This is too much!"
But the campaign also received overwhelming praise from other shoppers for supporting gay rights. "Totally back this, ads show couples all the time, so why not show a gay couple?," one wrote.
Another added: "Clever idea from bonds to weed out all the homophobes in their following."
"So many narrow minded people on here".
Emily Small, general manager of Bonds' parent company Hanes Apparel, told News Corp the campaign intended to reflect the community.
"Our Christmas campaign is about celebrating the bonds that make the season and those are different for every individual," Ms Small said.
"We are a brand that celebrate all Australians and we wish the couple featured in our social post along with everyone else an equally special and enjoyable festive season."
The campaign, which is themed around "meaningful bonds", also features a couple who've been married for 70 years, IVF triplets born to three different mothers, and a young woman who donated a kidney to her sister, with models aged 9 to 91-years-old.
The use of "real" models marks a fresh image for Bonds, which previously relied on celebrity ambassadors including Australian tennis player Pat Rafter and rapper Iggy Azalea in its ads, as well as its Hulk-style "Chesty Bond" muscleman cartoon.