HOLIDAY billboard "sex" ads that are meant to be humerous brought an angry response from three Manchester women who have launched their own graffiti campaign.
The £250,000 advertising campaign for Club 18-30 holidays has huge posters around city sites containing messages like: "Beaver Espana," "Don't drink the local water. As if."
Another, showing a picture of a male torso wearing underpants mysteriously containing, apparently a grapefruit, says: "Girls, can we interest you in a package holiday?" In a corner it says "Pack your trunks."
Three women artists based in Manchester today described the ads as juvenile, offensive to women and irresponsible.
To one poster containing the message: "You can be drunk and disorderly for two weeks" they have added the words: "Aids is a life sentence."
The three Jo, Cleo and Tracey, say they have met many people who feel like them about the ads.
Jo, 26, an artist who lives in Whalley Range, said: "Our big concern is that it is people aged 18 to 30 who are in the most danger from HIV Aids. Our graffiti is stressing the dangers."
Mother-of-three Tracey, 30, who lives in Moss Side do find the posters offensive. At one of the advertisement sites in Oswald Street, Chorlton, a young guy who lives accross the road saw us and told us that it was time somebody did something about the ad-he had to look at it every day.
"I wouldn't like my children to grow up and go on these holidays with ads like that."
Becky Impey, marketing manager for Club 18-30, hit back. She said: "Our adverts are certainly not meant to be offensive, and I am not offended by the Beaver Espana ad - I think it is very funny.
"I am not likely to be sexist towards women. They are meant to be fun adverts.
"Our holidays are for young people, and we are not their moral guardians. But on the issue of casual sex and safe sex, we take it very seriously.
"We have responded to a government health appeal and we give out literature and information. And if requested we will supply all our clients with free condoms. The worst thing we could do would be to create the wrong impression and have loads of families booking our holidays and then finding they didn't suit them.
"Defacing our advertisements is criminal damage.
"A much more sensible protest would be to write to the Advertising Standards Authority."
An ASA spokesman said: "We have had about 30 complaints."
[activist art / club 18-30