Firefox blush at browser protection ad

041905firefox_400x490CNET News: The Mozilla Foundation passed on using a condom-themed poster to tout its Firefox browser, but volunteers want to revive the ad to emphasize the software’s security features.

And here’s the Firefox poster that isn’t going to run, at least for now (click on it for larger image):

Why isn’t it running? Because it might cause offence to some, according to comment in a post at Spread Firefox:

Some time back over at, we started an effort to make a college poster to help spread Firefox. The results of this effort was a great poster that showed a rear view close-up of a person wearing bluejeans with a Firefox-wrapped condom in the hip pocket. The slogan was "Always use protection." Everyone involved loved it and we were days from taking it to print. The project was spiked because of concerns that it would offend some people.

Some lively discussion in the comments to that post.

I really can’t imagine how this poster could possibly cause offence to anyone (you should see the sexually-explicit poster advertising on the streets here in Amsterdam!), certainly not the people who Firefox planned to target – college kids in the US. A highly-appropriate theme, I’d have thought, well focused for that target audience. Or maybe they are worried at offending the teachers?

Anyway, I bet we do see that poster run. If not, at least the image repeated in blog posts like mine. Now that’s a an idea for some viral advertising…

5 thoughts on “Firefox blush at browser protection ad

  1. Neville: You forget how prudeish we are over here in the U.S. I could just see the headlines as teachers and local county governments are shocked and outraged 🙂
    Remember that in the US we have TV specials that show the ‘dirty’ European television commercials that we can’t see over here.
    A few years ago Microsoft was in a similar situation with an ad that was created for the Swiss market. Becuase of the global audience available online, the commercial soon became available in the US. The commercial was very quickly pulled. But of course you can still find it online:

  2. Until you explained it was a condom wrapper, I wouldn’t have known that. I still don’t know that. It possibly looks like the edge of a printed handkerchief to me. The world seems to be dividing up into the hypersexualised and those (like me) who really don’t care to see everything in sexual terms.
    To be honest, I’d be happy to see such things suppressed, not because I think them immoral or sinful, but because I get bored living in such a hypersexualised world.

  3. Does it offend you?

    Look at this.
    Can you believe this ad isn’t running because it might offend someone? 😮
    Yes, that’s true.
    Neville Hobson reported a post on
    “Some time back over at, we started an effort to make a college …

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