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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The German pornographic TV commercials that "weren't"

It's a story that has created a buzz on the Internet in recent days; two commercials for a soft drink, allegedly made in Germany and banned in that country for being unsuitable for television - read "pornographic".

As is often the case, both videos quickly attracted the attention of the social media worldwide, being uploaded on to YouTube and other sites and bloggers making their own assumptions and writing their own headlines based on what everyone else was talking about.

"Sprite Oral Sex Ad Banned In Germany", ran a story on Monday on the Huffington Post, which was far from being alone in deciding that two plus two equalled five and at the same time neglecting to think that there might be something more behind the story.

And according to the website of the weekly alternative newspaper, the New York Press, that was exactly the case.

Neither of the two videos was made in Germany (although the language heard on them certainly is German, albeit it with English subtitles) but in Brooklyn and similarly neither was intended for television broadcast.

Instead the goal, according to one of the "actors" featured in the first video, a 23-year-old musician John Jones IV, was to create a buzz and draw attention to the product.

"It's a spec commercial—it's not even real," he told the newspaper, explaining his reasons for agreeing to appear in what is by any stretch of the imagination far from suitable family viewing as, "I moved (to New York) to break into the music industry, but anything that'll pay my bills, I go with."

Perhaps though, as the French website pointed out in its coverage of the story, it didn't actually take a rocket scientist to work out what was behind the two videos in the first place.

"As yet we've not managed to find any proof that these videos were destined to be broadcast on television," said the site.

And there was hardly uproar in the German media over the alleged television ban, with bloggers from that country quickly realising that the whole thing was more "fake" than "real".

Ah well. That's the beauty of the Internet.

Oh yes, here are those two videos for those of you who are interested. And yes, they're far from being your run-of-the-mill television commercials.

So maybe try to keep the children from watching them.

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