This discussion topic is in partnership with ParentPort, a website run by the UK's media regulators. They set and enforce standards across the media to protect children from inappropriate material.

an offer of free ice cream from Ann Summers will attract as many children as adults

(202 Posts)
dontaskforthe99 Thu 10-May-12 10:14:47

Driving on the motorway on Friday (family in car) We passed an ice cream van that offered on the back - 'Free ice cream - Grab a mouthful'. On the back of the van was the web address Along the side of the van it proclaimed 'Summer of Sex'. Am I overreacting to think that kids seeing this may well go to the website to see how they can get their free ice cream only to be confronted by a selection of dildos? I did phone and email the company but got no response.

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 20:21:56

"Turn up to the van in just your bikini, we’ll give you a brand new and exclusive Ann Summers swim set absolutely free."

Just YUK

AngelWreakinHavoc Thu 10-May-12 20:24:56

Is there anything we could do about this? other than complain?

blapbird Thu 10-May-12 20:26:04

Jokes aside for a min...This is a step too far, it's an adults shop, children should no way be exposed to this it's very very irresponsible, quick someone contact the council. What kind of society are we living in? just awful. sad

Aribura Thu 10-May-12 20:30:41

Are they not more likely to experience Ann Summers walking past the actual shops than seeing a van passing, remembering the web address until they get home, and type it in? Yawn.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 10-May-12 20:33:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 20:36:51

There doesn't appear to be any age limit on participating in the promotion though.

AngelWreakinHavoc Thu 10-May-12 20:41:14

Aribura If you are tired then Take Your Yawns to bed smile

SquidgyBiscuits Thu 10-May-12 20:43:32

Well surely anybody outraged enough will be busy wrapping their little ones up in cotton wool and sheltering them from the fact that sex exists and people enjoy it.

Most towns have AS on the High Street....

Aside from that I imagine the people manning the van will probably use their common sense a bit and not give a bag of goodies to a child, nor a lube topped ice cream!

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 20:49:15

And what is to stop teenage girls doing their best "O" faces and agreeing to have them on facebook in return for a free bag of "naughty stuff" hmm?

I would have deffo gone for that when I was a teen as would all of my friends. From about 13 up.

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 20:49:55

So I guess these days it would probably be younger than that.


SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 20:52:04

Also I knew quite a few girls at school who would have been happy to strip down to a bikini for "free stuff" which is the other thing they are offering. Have they considered that a large number of people going for the "free stuff" will be underage girls I wonder.

dontaskforthe99 Thu 10-May-12 21:00:02

I'm mainly outraged that kids passing the van would see the web address and connect it with an offer of free ice cream, they could then easily visit the site and see unsuitable content. Kids as young as 8 have smart phones and they are hard to restrict for internet content (harder than home PCs).

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 21:03:48

I'm definitely mainly a bit concerned that the vans will be a magnet for secondary school age girls getting their "best orgasm faces" on facebook and getting free bags of "naughty" goodies in return, possibly combined with stripping to bikinis on the street.

How do they intend to deal with that I wonder.
A free ice-cream is much more tempting to someone on pocket money than a grown-up, surely.

AngelWreakinHavoc Thu 10-May-12 21:05:45

The O faces concern me too. I know at 13 I would not have hesitated at doing something stupid like that.

SquidgyBiscuits Thu 10-May-12 21:09:08

For a kid as young as 8 to see an ice cream can drive past, remember the full and correct web address and then visit it later on would be remarkable.

For a kid to see the van parked up, people getting ice cream and decide to memorise the web address and visit it later rather than try to get ice cream there and then would be ridiculous.

I've just had a look on the blog and could see plenty of pics of adult women and men, all of whom presumably consented to having their picture taken, having posed for it. The T&Cs state subject to availability which is a get out clause for a company to restrict the offer for anybody they suspect is under 18. The marketing people are approaching people who have the ice cream for the pics, and supposedly they are using their judgement in doing so.

I just don't see it as a big deal. If we have high street sex shops then they are already visable to under 18s. When I was about 12 me and my friends got a load of flavoured condoms and licked them to see if they really were flavoured. It was a giggle, it didn't make us straddle the nearest guys.

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 21:16:46

It's nothing to do with "straddling the nearest guys" confused

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 21:18:29

That is a really strange thing to say.


I can't find any T&Cs.
It says do the things and you get the stuff.
Orgasm faces + agreement to facebook = naughty bag
Strip to bikini = free swimming stuff

I think that will appeal enormously to girls in the 13/14 age bracket.

dontaskforthe99 Thu 10-May-12 21:19:45

SquidgyBiscuits - you don't think 8 year olds can remember It's not a very lengthy web address. They may be passing in a car, on the bus and not able to ask for their free ice cream there and then but want to find out who/why they are giving away free ice cream. It is really inappropriate marketing. Why do we have to have this tacky shit on show on our motorways and high streets.

EdithWeston Thu 10-May-12 21:21:26

I think the juxtaposition of "free ice cream" and "summer of sex" is wrong in itself, regardless of whether DCs remember web addresses etc. Other over-18 products (like booze) cannot be advertised in ways likely to appeal to children, and I think even the vanilla end of sex shops ought to be considered in this way.

(Was it vanilla, BTW?)

SardineQueen Thu 10-May-12 21:33:45

Yes that is a good post edith.

weeonion Thu 10-May-12 22:29:14


southlundon Thu 10-May-12 23:13:41

I was approached by a lady working for one of these vans on Liverpool high st this Monday. No, I didn't want to book a home party and no, I didn't want to give them my details - either of which they needed for the free ice cream and 'goody' bag.

Now I'm by no means a prude but there is a big difference between having a AS shop on the high st and having a van parked slap bang in the middle of the busiest shopping st, seemingly giving out free over creams and leading to me having to explain to my upset 3yo DS that he couldn't have an ice cream because mummy didn't want to spend a lt p money on something I didn't want to buy just to get an ice cream. That was the only way I could explain it to him.

I was v pissed off about this, as was my SIL and our DHs who we were with. Luckily her preteen girls didn't notice.

Glad someone's brought this up on here.

southlundon Thu 10-May-12 23:15:31

Oh and I was walking along the street holding hands with my DS when I was approached, which makes it even worse in my eyes.

Excuse typos btw.

spammertime Thu 10-May-12 23:20:31

It's horrible, and what happened to you is totally inappropriate south.

If they ever make it done here and did the same, I think I would ask if they could be the ones to explain to my sons what they would like me to buy.

Edith's post sums it up v well

MmeLindor. Thu 10-May-12 23:30:20

The issue here is that they are targeting adults using images and concepts that will attract children.

"Free ice cream" is so fecking creepy. What is next, "Do you want to see my puppies".

And approaching someone on the street when they are with children is a definite no no.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now