Swiss public broadcaster refuses to air advert for sex toys advent calendar

Swiss public broadcaster SRF has denied an advertising slot to a company selling an advent calendar with sex toys.

Swiss public broadcaster refuses to air advert for sex toys advent calendar
Photo: KateNovikova/Depositphotos

An advert by Swiss online sex toys retailer Amorana has been refused airtime by Swiss public broadcaster SRF. Amorana's advent calendar offers dildos and other sex toys as presents in the calendar, although the products do not feature in the advert.

The advert shows a woman dressed as a superhero shoving an advent calendar into her man's arms, after slapping him, and declaring: “This is a great Christmas present.” The advert does not implicitly make any reference to sex or sex toys. 

A spokeswoman for the public broadcaster SRF said the decision was made in consideration for “the moral values” of minority groups that could be sensitive to the content, according to Swiss daily 20 Minutes.  

Amorana's co-founder Alan Frei told The Local his company received the following response from SRF:

“Even if the advertised spot only implies Amorana's offer in this form, the offer is the same. We (SRF) do not want to violate the values and feelings of individual audiences and, for image reasons, we do not want to offer ourselves as an advertising platform for sex paraphernalia.”

READ ALSO: US researcher blasts Swiss magazine's sexist depiction

The broadcaster was accused of double standards though as one of its own shows last year ran a programme called 'Vibrator Test – What Women Like'. Amorana, in a statement, also accused the broadcaster of double standards, asking why SRF broadcasts product tests for vibrators and documentaries on sex toys, but won't allow advertising. 

The Amorana advert will still run on private broadcasters “that don't have a problem with our advert”, Alan Frei, Amorana's co-founder, told The Local by email. 

READ MORE: Swiss broadcaster to cut less jobs than previously announced






How media diversity is shrinking in Switzerland

The Swiss media landscape is becoming more concentrated than ever, a new study has found, leading to concerns about media diversity.

How media diversity is shrinking in Switzerland

The main reason for this trend is the influence of social media. In the German-speaking regions of Switzerland, media concentration reached 83 percent in 2018, while the corresponding amount in French-speaking Switzerland was 89 percent. 

Media concentration is measured by looking at diversity of sources at an editorial level. 

Social media

The research, which was completed by the Fög Institute at the University of Zurich, found that the importance of Google and Facebook in linking readers to news was strong and growing stronger. 

The study found that one major result of increased social media integration with news was that there were fewer possibilities for news to be checked, leading to the spread of fake news and misinformation.

The impact of the shift can be seen with regard to advertising revenue. With Google currently taking two thirds (67 percent) of all online advertising in Switzerland, the entire Swiss online media market earns less than the American tech giant. 

Respondents to the report said that they ‘often’ or ‘very often’ used Google as their primary news source. 

Subscriptions to newspapers in Switzerland is also on the decrease, shrinking from 56 percent to 32 percent in the space of ten years. 

Only 11 percent of respondents indicated that they subscribed to a news service. 

All the news that’s fit to print?

The research showed that drinking coffee while reading over the morning paper is decreasing. 

Almost two-thirds – 63 percent – of respondents said they consumed news ‘on the run’, while 39 percent said they preferred entertainment to news and only kept one eye on the day’s events at best. 

Traditional outlets remain more trustworthy

When asked which platforms were the most trustworthy when it came to providing the news, just under half (47 percent) said traditional sources were the most trustworthy. 

A total of 29 percent preferred search engines, while 17 percent said social media was the most trustworthy platform from which to procure the news. 

Younger people are the most clued into the risks of social media, with 62 percent saying they are suspicious of news which appears on social networks.

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