08/06/2012 09:40 BST | Updated 08/08/2012 06:12 BST

Harvey Nichols Advert Features Models Wetting Themselves In Excitement Over Sale (PICTURES)

Department store Harvey Nichols has turned to toilet humour to promote its latest sale.

With the strapline "Try to contain your excitement" and featuring a male and a female model sporting urine stains on their clothes, the upmarket UK-based store appears to be implying its reductions are so drastic, we're likely to lose control of our bladders .

Twitter users have seized upon the ad, variously slamming it for being "disgusting" and "in bad taste", however others however have branded it "tongue in cheek" and "quirky".

harvey nichols advert

Knicker-wettingly excited: Harvey Nichols' latest ad campaign incorporates toilet humour

When asked for a response, a store spokesman told Huffington Post UK the campaign is a play on the infamous phrase "It was so good, I almost peed my pants!" uttered by Julia Roberts in the cult 90s movie, Pretty Woman.

Julia Bowe, Harvey Nichols' Group Press and Marketing Director, said: "In humorous reaction to the (often-irrational) excitement sale time engenders, we have developed this campaign to capture this near-fanatical spirit, because let's face it, the thought of picking up brands at up to 70% off is enough to excite and overwhelm even the most composed shopper in us all."

If you say so.

harvey nichols advert

The urine theme was apparently inspired by a quote uttered by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

It's not the first time Harvey Nicholas has been in hot water for its risqué adverts. Last Christmas the store ran a "Walk Of Shame" advert, depicting women making their way home the morning after a heavy night out, looking more than a little worse for wear.

The end of the ad sees a finely-dressed woman confidently walking into her luxury home, unashamed to acknowledge her postman.

Scroll down for a gallery of ads which have landed brands in hot water


The implication appeared that those who bought their dresses in Harvey Nichols would feel no shame in their upmarket prompting complaints that the advert "mocked less wealthy women", was "demeaning to women" and endorsed casual sex.

The ASA received a total of four complaints but found that the advert did not play on negative stereotypes of women.

In its response, the ASA said that Harvey Nichols had tried not to convey a negative portrayal of women, instead their "intention had been to raise a smile by reminding people of a familiar hazard of the Christmas party season - of waking up somewhere unfamiliar the day after a night out and having to embark on the journey home in attire that was less than suitable for the morning rush hour."

walk of shame

Last Christmas Harvey Nichols ran a controversial 'walk of shame' advert

The majority of commenters on the video found the video funny, with many suggesting that the advert criticises the ill-fitting clothes the women wear, rather than the women themselves.

"I just listened to the item about this ad on Women's Hour. I really do not understand why this upsets anyone," wrote one commenter, wbell539.

However, another comment, which earned 5 likes said: "Basically, the message i got was don't be chubby or unattractive. otherwise it is a walk of shame. where as if you are a hot model like the final girl, then it is fine."