How Does Andrex Make Me Feel?

andrex gold pants

For reasons detailed at length elsewhere on this site, Andrex makes me feel physically sick on a regular basis. Trying to make us think about defecation and bum-wiping during our Cornflakes, encouraging us to block up sewers with wet-wipes or that abysmal animated Andrex puppy spot. And now this ‘as clean as gold pants’ advert, which has only just come to light. They all make me feel physically sick.

Please, Andrex. I’m begging now. Stop these faux-coy, deliriously awful adverts where you try to pretend that people discussing their rectums – and what they do with them – is in any way normal or desirable.

Show me one person who likes your adverts: I’ll show you a 100 who hate them. Tell me why it’s important that you keep spending money to start a dialogue on arse-wiping: I’ll give you five better reasons why it’s not.

There’s an implicit suggestion here that it’s important to talk about the act of defecation and subsequent act of cleaning your backside – in the same way that it’s important to talk about drugs, sex and embarrassing illnesses. See how the adults chuckle shyly – see how the children love talking about bodily functions! You should talk about your bodily functions too! Like the children – see? If only you talked about poo more the world would be a better place.

andrex gold pants

Only it wouldn’t. It would not make one iota of difference. What’s more, holding children up as some paragon of artless wisdom only gets as far as recognising that children are pretty hopeless creatures. They can’t drive, they can’t wire a plug and they certainly can’t fill in applications for housing benefit.

When I was a child of a similar age to the kids featured in this advert I had a friend who used to drink his own spit. Yet there’s no suggestion that this would – in any way – be a particular pleasant or wise thing to do. I can’t really see the tagline “Andrex wants everyone to drink their own spit” getting much traction. And, frankly, ‘gold’ pants has some fairly unpleasant connotations when you think about it.

I guess Andrex has turned to children because it’s had such little luck in trying to convince us to vote in an online poll about scrunching or folding or discuss our faeces with Dawn Porter or Arielle Free. And, frankly, I think it’s all rather grubby, if you’ll pardon the pun.

andrex gold pants

There is hope, however. It turns out that, despite the toilet-bowls full of cash Andrex has thrown at these campaigns, people have better things to do than spending their available time discussing bowel movements or clogging up sewers with Andrex washlets which, despite Andrex’s claims, water companies say are not fit to flush down toilets.

All of which are reasons why Andrex has one of the biggest sections on this site devoted to it. How does Andrex make me feel? Pitiful, embarrassed, annoyed, bewildered, aggravated and physically ill. That’s how Andrex makes me feel.

The Worst Advert of 2014: Results

Well, well, well.

It seems that many people, rather than being touched by Sainsburys’ advert about the Christmas Truce, thought it was the worst advert of the year. I’ve explained previously why I thought so when it originally came out and in the end-of-the-year round-up, so I’m not going to repeat myself.

Suffice to say, I do hope this misadventure is the last we see of appalling moments in history being used to flog goods. And to anyone who wants to take this up with me, I offer the following question: In what way would it be worse to use 9/11 as a backdrop for advertising a supermarket in a similar idiom?

Of the other top three competing to be named worst advert of 2014, I was surprised but heartened to see Gladstone Brookes ranking highly. This aggravating, openly aggressive and hideously ubiquitous advert was like an aggressive fungus spreading across television screens in 2014. The product they were advertising? Charging you a wedge for the sake of sending out a templated letter.


There’s something offensive in a vaguely Dickensian way about that and while I’m sure their terrible advert played a part, I think the number of votes indicates that readers felt similarly about Gladstone Brookes’ business methods.

Hive rounds off the top three and was winning this poll for a fortnight or so. There was no more aggravating noise in 2014 than this ghastly, twee, try-hard ditty that sounds like it was sung in a shed by a man wearing a stupid pom-pom hat, drinking cloudy cider and thinks Ed Sheeran is the last word in cool music. From everyone in the world, Hive, I beg you to fuck right off.

The rest of the poll

I loved how Wonga spectacularly imploded this year, with their ads disappearing from screens as the company underwent a lengthly self-flagellation, execs were defenestrated and they admitted they’d lent money to people who wouldn’t be able to repay their loans in a million years. This was particularly satisfying as Wonga have made a habit of popping up on this blog over the years to complain that I’ve misrepresented them.

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My big problem with the actual adverts is that they turn the serious business of borrowing money into some insane, infantilised pantomime – it’s a smoking gun, as far as I’m concerned, as to Wonga’s real market and in pulling these ads, they’ve admitted as much.

Hotels4U, another ad that simply vanished as quickly as it appeared, is the only advert I’ve ever seen that made me fear for the safety of the actors it featured. Their Twitter account reads: “If you love #hotels & high quality television adverts then you’ve come to the right place!”.

While not in any way offensive or annoying, the Co-Op advert smacked of a company that simply doesn’t know what it’s about anymore. The fact that an agency made this ad and the client signed it off is, frankly, a disastrous mistake by everyone concerned.

Will this be the year that Andrex stops trying to sell us their wet wipes? I don’t know, but I do hope it’s the year they stop telling us that they’re safe to flush. Especially as there’s a full ad campaign by water companies specifically designed to refute this claim. Where next for this lengthy campaign which seems determined to make us discuss faeces?

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I’m not sure there’s much less to say about the remainder, other than how appallig they are. What I can guarantee is this: CompareTheMarket isn’t going anywhere, despite being the most overstayed welcome since Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy; Sky Sports will continue to pretend that football matter, when it doesn’t fucking matter one bit; Apple will continue to be smug; beards will continue to be appropriated by fuckwits; cheese strings will remain vile in every respect and that we will never escape The Redknapps.

Happy New Year.


There were plenty of votes for other adverts readers hated, including lots (excluded here) that simply aaid ‘all of them’.

Mostly good choices on the whole, though I can’t agree with the Singing Toys advert. Even though I couldn’t tell you what it was advertising if I had a gun to my head, it was one of the best of the year for my money. I actually wrote to the makers of the ad to see if they’d let me have the wonky owl, but they never replied to me.

Natwest – 3 votes
Gala Bingo – 3 votes
Paddy Power – 2 votes
Singing toys – 2 votes
Oak Furniture Land – 1 vote
Carphone Warehouse – 1 vote
Sensodyne Toothpaste – 1 vote
Paypal – 2 votes
Bet 365 – 1 vote
Cadbury Xmas – 1 vote
Coral Windows Radio Advert – 1 vote
Vistaprint – 1 vote
John Lewis – 1 vote
Chloe Perfume – 1 vote
Argos – 1 vote
Go Compare – 1 vote
Vanarama – 1 vote
Famous Grouse – 1 vote
First4Lawyers – 1 vote
MyMate – 1 vote
Renault Zoe – 1 vote