The other morning, I was casually being a human when someone asked me how I wipe my arse. I was standing in a shop when it happened and it was horrible. I felt like my anus had been given a platform it had never requested, and the worst thing about it was that the person who'd asked me this most revolting of questions was the one I trust most in matters lavatorial: The Andrex Puppy.
Andrex are currently in the midst of the most disgusting marketing campaign I can remember. I'm sure there were some questionable boot polish posters in the 1920s, but I'd take them any day over the Andrex "scrunch or fold?" campaign. This is the question they've chosen to pose on their packaging: "Do you scrunch or fold?" as in, "How do you prepare your handful of Andrex for your shitty arsehole?"
I think they're trying to start a "national debate", similar to how Marmite must have imagined their "love it or hate it" campaign coming to dominate the office kitchen small talk zeitgeist. Whatever it is they're up to, they don't seem to mind quite how much of Britain's dignity they demolish en route. Watch this cheery atrocity below:
Christ. I don't know what the bleakest image here is.
The faded stage starlet wiping her porcelain arse as though she's offering the ambassador her gloved hand at a Viennese soiree?
The wacky bingo guy turning piles of watered tissue paper into glove puppets to entertain himself as he expels from his gut?
This paternal nod from an earthy farmer type? A nod that advertisers normally use to reassure their customers that the sausages are organic is now being used to assure us that yes, those thick, working hands sometimes put down the shovel to fiddle with perforated paper so thin he can barely feel it between his calloused fingers.
Competitive contemporary yuppie guy fucking smashing the shit out of his anus in record time, mate?
Stacey fucking Solomon? I don't care if this is her, it's enough like her to leave me imagining how that caffeinated neurotic must struggle to compose herself long enough to pull off the very simple act of wiping herself clean. God, this advert is bleak. It's really leading me down some dark mental corridors.
Obviously, though, the worst part of the whole advert is this woman. There is absolutely no competition; she's a character straight from hell, a woman so depraved and overly sexualised that she even tries to turn wiping her arse into an erotic escapade.
Imagine her beckoning you into the bathroom: "Oops, I left the door open and now my fake nail has burst through the seductively folded Andrex, I'm getting all dirty…"
Jesus, this character is definitely the worst in this advert. No competition. I think she just made my dick grimace.
Andrex, please stop it. I know you have a product to sell, but you've managed to survive – thrive, even – as a provider of toilet products for years without having to broach the whole actual arsehole thing. I think we'd all prefer it if you went back there. This is an anti-advert. Your product has universal appeal – before this campaign existed, I could never contemplate a life without toilet paper, but you've managed to make the essential seem grotesque and now I'm trying to think of ways around using it.
Follow Alex on Twitter: @terriblesoup
More terrible things: