Australia’s advertising watchdog received complaints after an ice cream company depicted a bikini-clad green popsicle with a bite taken out, accompanied by the slogan: “I can see your white bits.”
Streets Ice Cream said the saying, delivered by its cowboy-themed Bubble O Bill popsicle, was an obvious reference to tan lines. But offended Australians saw it as a dirtier allusion.
Complaints suggested that ‘”white bits’ is a reference to the slang term ‘pink bits,’ which is Australian slang for female genitalia.” One added, “While the joke may be intended to get adults attention, the Bubble O’Bill ice cream product is predominantly marketed to and consumed by young children.”
Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau, the self-regulation system for advertisers, basically told complainants to quit being so sensitive and to get their minds out of the gutter.
“The Board noted that the Splice [ice cream bar] is wearing a yellow bikini and considered that the reference to ‘white bits’ is a play on words against both the exposure of the inside of the ice cream as a result of the bite, and a reference to tan lines which can result of wearing a bikini in the sun,” the watchdog wrote in its decision. “The Board considered that the complainant’s interpretation of ‘white bits’ being a reference to ‘pink bits’ and thus to ‘female genitalia’ is an interpretation unlikely to be shared by the broad community.”
The ice cream company’s most recent ad campaign has a good dose of cheekiness in it. Another ad includes an apparent allusion to Brokeback Mountain; its Gaytime popsicle, first introduced by Streets Ice Cream in 1959, asks Bubble O Bill whether it is “Gaytime.”
“Woah there, cowboy!” he replies. On the company’s website, the Gaytime popsicle is advertised with the saying, “It’s hard to have a Gaytime on your own.”