An Australian advertising campaign for sneakers has got homophobic Christians up in arms because it includes sensual same-sex couples.
According to the Volley shoe brand, the #Grassroots campaign is “all about the celebration of sexual expression whilst remembering to stay safe”.
“We’re sick of being socially engineered and we shun political correctness,” says the company on its website. “We are children of the sun and are comfortable in our own skin, so don’t tell us who to love or how to be.”
The campaign, which consists of a video and a range of images by photographer Marisa Taschke, features a healthy dose of discreet male and female nudity, as well as young opposite and same-sex couples having fun in the sun.
The group Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has been campaigning against the ads since they were launched in August.
In a new tweet this week, the organisation’s spokesperson Wendy Francis reignited the controversy when she slammed the company for selling shoes for school kids while continuing to promote the sexy campaign on its website.
She was largely dismissed by Twitter users for being a prude and was infuriated when both the company and Taschke cheekily thanked her for bringing attention back to the campaign.
“Big shout out to [Volley Australia] number one fan [Wendy Francis] and the Australian Christian Lobby!” Taschke quipped on Instagram. The photographer added: “You’ve helped spread the message behind #grassroots! Your ignorance and hate has helped educate more Australians about safe sex!”
In a follow-up statement, ACL once again condemned the “sexually explicit” and “deeply concerning” ads.
Said Francis: “Parents considering what shoes to buy their children for going back to school now have a new consideration apart from fit and durability; it’s about highly inappropriate sex education from a shoe supplier.”
She also seethed at the “mockery and ridicule” she had received on social media for “standing up for the rights of parents and children not to be exposed to adult-only material…”
Francis insisted that she would not be swayed “from fighting to protect kid’s innocence”.
Check out the campaign below and judge for yourself.