The need to shock and outrage has long been a marketing tactic used to subliminally enter the psyche of potential customers.
Gone appear to be the days of the clever pun, the play on words or the vaguely risqué strapline. Now it's bona fide, in your face, full-on shock tactics that are used to grab the attention of the customer; the 21st century equivalent of that infamous image of the Eighties when Vinnie Jones grabbed 'the attention' of Paul Gasgoigne.
The ease of access to customers has been made even simpler for advertisers with the rise and rise of social media, and Facebook and Twitter provide a one-click route into the palm of a customer's hand.
Couple that with the desire to shock and you get a tweets along the lines of those sent out by those not very subtle folk at Fruity King.
Earlier this week their attempt at shocking humour backfired horrendously when they tweeted out what appears to have been a bad taste (literally...) prank on a member of staff.
The Swiss-based casino gaming app company - who describe themselves as, ' your one stop destination for mobile casino gaming needs, served with a side dish of mischief' - tweeted the following at the weekend:
Whether by design or otherwise, few saw the funny side. Instead they found themselves in the midst of a Twitter storm:
@FruityKing_ how lovely. Don't ever darken my twitter feed again, twats!— Ms Rowdy (@rowdy_claire) March 28, 2015
@FruityKing_ what a waste of a sponsored as.— Tom Dodds (@DoddsTom) March 28, 2015
.@FruityKing_ yeah because tricking someone into eating something they havnt knowingly consented to is soooo bloody funny. Jerks.— mamacrow (@mamacrow) March 29, 2015
And those were just a sample. Typically, Fruity King were bullish and unrepentant, and responded to the furore with further attempts at humour:
@mamacrow He was barking mad!— Fruity King (@FruityKing_) March 29, 2015
It seems the reference in the tweet to "Gedörrtes Hundefleisch" is a Swiss recipe for dog meat, where it remains legal to eat dog meat - although illegal to sell it - but the fact it remains illegal to eat in much of mainland Europe and the UK appears lost on the Fruity Kings.
Or is it?
If the raison d'être of the original tweet was to drag the name of said online gaming giant into the public consciousness it probably worked. Those who hadn't heard of Fruity King have now.
If on the other hand it was a genuine attempt to titillate, then it backfired horribly.
But the point is this type of marketing is here to stay. The days of subtle and 'clever' could well be over and we appear to be careering head-long into the Vinnie Jones school of advertising.
If you're easily offended or shocked I suggest you steer clear of Twitter, Facebook, TV and, actually... the internet. The advertising equivalent of T20 cricket may just not be for you.Suggest a correction