Is Unilever claiming to cure gayness with Lynx?

October 16, 2012  |  Anita Chang Beattie for Advertising Age  |  Comments

Lynx, the product Unilever markets as Axe in North America, has debuted an ad in Hong Kong suggesting its potent aromas can turn lesbian women straight.

A post on the Facebook page of Lynx Effect Hong Kong says a lucky consumer can win $500 million Hong Kong dollars ($65 million U.S.) by buying Lynx… but that the award should be claimed from “Cecil.”

It’s referring to flamboyant Hong Kong real-estate tycoon Cecil Chao, who made a splash recently when he offered the amount to any man who can successfully woo his lesbian daughter Gigi.

The work was produced by BBH Asia Pacific in Singapore for the Hong Kong market.

Gigi Chao has been in a long-term relationship with a woman named Sean Eav, and the pair were married in France earlier this year. When news of the marriage broke in Hong Kong media, Cecil Chao served up his challenge to would-be suitors and offers begun pouring in online. Gigi Chao has taken an understanding stance toward her father’s pronouncement.

“He just doesn’t understand how anybody can be gay,” she said in an interview with ABC’s 20/20.

And this is how her father – who has never married and claims to have slept with more than 10,000 women – explained his thinking: “I’m not saying that she’s not okay to be gay. I mean it’s her own choice and her own tendency… But [she should] make sure she knows what she wants. Maybe what she wants today is different [than] what she wants in the future,” he told 20/20.

U.K. film maker and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is said to be making a movie based on Mr. Chao’s offer, titled The Lesbian.

To read the original story in Advertising Age, click here.

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