If the subject of online safety can sometimes crime across as somewhat dull, New Zealand did its best to grab people’s attention by using “porn actors” as part of a new campaign.
In the ad, a nude pair named Derek and Sue greet a hapless mother, telling her that her son has just been watching them on a hilariously long list of devices – including on “PlayStation” and a “projector.”
The pair then insist on having a talk with the boy, Matt, about what he saw them doing, stressing that it’s not reality.
“We don’t even talk about consent do we?” Sue says. “No, we just get straight to it.”
“Yeah, and I would never act like that in real life,” Derek adds.
The ad is part of a campaign to raise awareness that actions online can have real-world impacts. Along with cyberbullying and ease of access to violent content, the ads target the various pitfalls children and teens can face while surfing the web.
“Parents should feel confident when dealing with these issues… at the end of the day, they’re the best person to keep their child safe,” Hilary Ngan Kee, a spokesperson for the advertising agency Motion Sickness, said in a statement. “You don’t need to have all the answers, but supporting your child and giving that ‘adult’ guidance as they navigate the choppy waters of the online world will really make a difference.”
The “porn actors” ad is aimed at educating young web-users on the difference between what they see in pornography and what they might encounter in a real relationship.
The ad follows a study published in December 2019 that claimed an alarming number of young people use the internet as their first and primary tool to learn about sex.
“Often the videos with this content would start with a reluctant partner, usually the female, who starts out saying ‘no’ to sex but whose initial resistance is overcome through insistence and subtle pressure by the male,” Censor David Shanks said. “The actress is then portrayed as enjoying the sexual contact – female pleasure was notable in 99% of the videos.”
“For young people, or people inclined to coercion, the repeated theme of ‘no’ becoming ‘yes’ could very easily be problematic.”
The Keeping It Real Online website lists a number of resources to help parents discuss with their child the various problems they might encounter, as well as the ads for each problem area.