12 Most Controversial AIDS Ads

NOTE: this article contains explict images. If you are under 18 we advise you to see it under parenting supervision.

European HIV charities condemned a new German AIDS ad featuring Adolf Hilter, Josef Stalin and Saddam Hussein's look-alikes having sex with naked women. The tag line of the ad is “Aids is a mass murderer” referring to the fact that 30 million people die of AIDS every year. The controversial advert has caused quite a stir among charity activists who blame the creators for the possible outcome of the campaign that's already being launched on German TV channels and will run all the way through December 1, World AIDS Day. The agency behind the ad campaign is Das Committee.

Aids Makes Us Equal (France). Not even Superman is safe!

The caption for the ad is “Only 0.003 mm of latex lie between life and death.” These ads, run by German Wimbeldon star Michael Stich as part of an AIDS awareness campaign, have stirred controversy among many, causing them to question “how far is too far?” in advertising.

The French AIDS prevention and information organisation, aides.org, has come up with some scary posters campaign to remind people of the dangers of AIDS.

German AIDS awareness ads: "It's easy to lose your head when you're horny."

There are some things that you can't just simply press "control z."

Crash test dummies are popular icons for safety. Why not use them for an Aids campaing?

MTV is getting quite edgy with this AIDS awareness ad campaign in Brazil. The ads show retro images of threesomes (one dude, two girls; they did not get THAT edgy) with a copy that covers the man's groin with the text “Except for AIDS, nothing has changed”. The campaign is created by advertising agency Loducca, São Paulo.

no vagina = no sex = no AIDS. By Agency CLM BBDO / France. The logo says: AIDS does not concern you?

"Each time you sleep with someone, you also sleep with his past". Campaign to promote HIV tests.

“If the past is interfering with your life, check-your-love-life”. The following ads by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and the Swiss Aids Federation employ nudity in peculiar situations that incite both a surprised reaction and an interest in the narrative of the image. The ads certainly cause people to read the text and understand the context of the ad: 1. No intercourse without a condom, 2. No sperm or blood in the mouth. Thus, these ads are another example of the public benefit that can come out of shock advertising.

This ad was created by PHACE Scotland. It is upfront not only about gay relationships, but also their public perception of indecency. By situating the two men at nighttime, behind a bush, as an elderly woman walks down the street, portrays the seediness and discomfort that the general public seems to have with gay men. The plastic toy element adds to the kitschyness of the ad, furthering its shock value, and potentially its effectiveness. The text says: “they would talk about HIV status, but Ken's got his mouth full”.