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Banned pornography in the advertising of our malt beverage producers? (Our contribution to May 1st)

Historical advertisement of OVOMALTINE. © AMATIN AG Rechtsanwälte Collection, 2022.

Prohibited pornographic depictions are to be avoided in advertising. (Disclaimer: The following article is of a scientific nature, but without footnotes. We trust the reader to generate the latter spontaneously).

Lascivious, ideally arousing depictions – the hit in advertisinglfall erregende Darstellungen – der Renner in der Werbung

This advertisement of a well-known malt beverage and chocolate manufacturer used an attention-getting trick: a lightly dressed woman rides a lion in a lascivious pose. Yes, she rides properly, dignified and elegant. This (androgynous?) woman is “topless”. In any case, she is squatting on the (pitiful or not, after all, excited by joy?) animal with her chest bared. Oh shame, the woman on horseback even dominates the lion with a stick. Joyful sadism springs from the image. The advertising of Ovo-maltine culminates in the slogan “keeps you healthy and fit (…) helps you overcome weakness and illness”. Now is this fat mail or thin mail?

Could this be hardcore pornography?

The “1st Super Prosecutor” becomes aware of the advertisement. Based on relevant experience, he sees this depiction in a sexual context (the joy of the participants does not jump out at him, however). He concludes that the focus of the sexually neutral average viewer (a “do-gooder”) is clearly drawn to the woman’s exposed breast and her objectionable riding on an animal. Such images of “sexual acts” between humans and animals, i.e. sodomy (lat. sodomia bestialis), are forbidden, even so-called “hard” pornography. According to the “1st Super Prosecutor”, the pose with the dominating stick also goes in the direction of a sadistic, perhaps even masochistic depiction, which could be prohibited in the context of humans and animals. Thinking razor-sharp, the “1st Super Prosecutor” concludes that it does not matter that the depiction is not a photo or video, as any depictions of “hard” pornography, including drawings or comics, for example, are punishable.

Do you share the opinion of the “1st Super Prosecutor”?

Do you agree that this promotional image is a pornographic depiction that should be banned? Or do you rather take the liberal approach that the picture is not relevant under criminal law? Write us your opinion on the newly sparked, epic dispute about the interpretation and legal classification of this image (e.g. on

In any case, the proceedings are said to have been discontinued.

AMATIN AG  Rechtsanwälte / Rechtsberatung  │  Attorneys at Law / Counselors  │  Conseiller Juridiques / Avocats

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