LIFESTYLE
21/12/2017 16:37 GMT | Updated 22/12/2017 10:47 GMT

Poundland's NSFW Elf Advert Depicting Sex Move Divides The Internet

'Is your social campaign being run by an 11-year-old who's just found out about sex?'

Poundland has landed itself in hot water after sharing a string of adverts showing an elf behaving badly.

Its most recent advent, posted on 21 December, shows the elf hanging a teabag on Barbie’s face, a nod to the sexual act of ‘teabagging’. The caption reads: “How do you take your tea, one lump or two?”

The crude ad has seriously hit a nerve with some members of the British public. Multiple Twitter users even asked if the brand’s account had been hacked, but a social media spokesperson confirmed that it hadn’t.

In a statement to HuffPost UK, Poundland defended the advert, which cost £25.53 to produce, revealing: “You should see the ones we didn’t post.”

Poundland

Twinings Tea’s product played a key role in the controversial ad. But the tea company has since distanced itself from the naughty elf’s antics, tweeting its disapproval of the advert.

“We are aware of an image that is circulating that misuses our product. This is to confirm that we had no involvement in this and that it is obviously not reflective of our brand values,” Twinings Tea tweeted.

As a result, Poundland deleted the original tweet and replaced it with an updated image without the brand’s involvement.

The company behind Elf On The Shelf, a popular Christmas story and game for kids, also distanced itself from the adverts.

“We are aware of several disturbing images circulating on social media that are causing confusion and using #elfontheshelf,” a spokesperson told HuffPost UK. 

“The Elf on the Shelf® wants to make sure families in the UK know that the elves depicted in these images are not Santa’s Official Scout Elves and could never work for Santa.

“The Elf on the Shelf is caring, kind and part of joyful family memories. To ensure your elf doesn’t behave badly, only adopt Scout Elves that have a solid red jumpsuit and arrive with their very own storybook.”

The elf ‘teabagging’ scene isn’t the only one to prove controversial. Other adverts from the campaign see the elf rubbing its bottom with a toothbrush, playing poker naked and relaxing in a sink with two dolls.

Since the teabag tweet was shared at midday on Thursday, it has received more than 200 comments and has proven very divisive.

Some have labelled it a bit of fun...

But most agree that it’s in “poor taste”, particularly because the toys used are for kids.

Mark Pym, Poundland’s marketing director, stood by the brand’s decision to run the campaign.

He told HuffPost UK: “If you think this is edgy, you should see the ones we didn’t post. The love on Facebook is overwhelming - that’s because it connects with our shoppers.

“In fact, we’re proud of a campaign that only cost £25.53 and is being touted as the winning marketing campaign this Christmas.”