Racy condoms banned in Utah’s HIV awareness campaign

Sexual innuendo apparently doesn’t play in Utah. At least not in taxpayer-funded public health campaigns.

Condom wrappers with cheeky phrases that put a sexy spin on state pride met a quick demise in the Beehive State as Gov. Gary Herbert ordered the state health department to stop distributing them as part of an HIV-awareness campaign.

The intervention came hours after the designs became public this month. Herbert, a Republican, said he understands the importance of educating residents about HIV prevention, but doesn’t approve of using sexual innuendo in a taxpayer-funded campaign, the Associated Press reported.

Among the slogans the governor objected to were: “Greatest Sex on Earth,” a spin on the state’s license-plate ski slogan “Greatest Snow on Earth”; “SL,UT,” a play on abbreviations for Salt Lake and Utah; “UINTAH sex?”; “This is the place” against a bed in the background; and “Enjoy your mountin’.” The condoms were part of the department’s “HIV and Me” awareness campaign, which was created with federal funds.

While sexual innuendo may meet resistance in Utah, it was rewarded here at Modern Healthcare in the 2019 Healthcare Marketing Impact Awards.

SPM Marketing & Communications garnered the Gold Award for Integrated Campaign/Advocacy for its “Save Yours” sexually transmitted infection campaign for the Chicago Department of Public Health, with ads urging “Save the buns,” “Save the wieners” and “Save the kitties” followed by “When you get tested for STIs” with pictures of the relevant foodstuffs (and pet).

Obviously, Gov. Herbert wasn’t one of the judges.