Why is Italy's motorcycle community vigorously condemning an oral hygiene brand?

An Italian dental hygiene brand makes a 'funny' advert as motorcyclists' expense... ends up being threatened with legal action from the national federation

Geldis Floss Advertising 2

The motorcycle community is a group bound by the ideals of camaraderie, shared passions and living for an adventure. It’s also very tight-knit, as a dental hygiene company is certainly finding out, after coming up against a chorus of criticism over one of its advertisements.

On the receiving end of this is Gelis, a company which sells oral hygiene products such as mouthwash, teeth whitening and floss. 

It is with the latter product Geldis has found itself in hot water, over a television advertisement that shows two protagonists using floss as a cable tie between two trees in the path of an oncoming motorcyclist and pillion. The scene fades before the inevitable followed by the tagline ‘Use it right!’... but you get the jist.

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While Geldis and its advertising partners have inevitably tried to create an ad that is tongue-in-cheek, the somewhat sinister tone negates this at best and at worst incites some horrific violence.

The criticism has come thick, fast and from significant sources, including the Italian Motorcycle Federation who have threatened legal action in a statement decrying the spot..

“The serious and unacceptable fact is that, unfortunately, many new motorcyclists have been victims of similar behaviour with cables and barbed wire, set as traps to prevent free riding with serious and even fatal consequences.

“Due to the deplorable and strongly uneducated message that it transmitted, the IMF intends to distrust the company that made the commercial and the same company that produced the product that approved it, reserving the right to intervene with the competent authorities in the manner provided by law.”

We would embed the ad here but it appears to have disappeared from Geldis’ channels, which alone should be an indication of the furore it has since created. However, it had already exceeded 100,000 views in only a few hours as word spread of a ‘joke’ in poor taste.

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