Spin Communication‘s campaign for Van Heusen – Van Heusen Stories – has been banned by Brisbane Transport, who has labelled the underwear ad as ‘too racy’ for Brisbane buses.

Interestingly, the ad has been deemed acceptable for Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth travellers. Is Brisbane becoming the prude of Australia?

Emil Vrisakis and Sean Gaji from Spin, the creative duo behind the campaign, certainly wanted to create a campaign that would make people sit up and take notice of Van Heusen.

“We had no idea it would ever be banned! The execution itself is playful and visually engaging but it’s definitely in good taste,” Vrisakis.

“The campaign spans several scenarios in which we see the male talent walking away from a girl lying on a bed. The viewer sees a snapshot of a story but they’re ultimately left guessing what the exact nature of the scenario is, building intrigue.”

The campaign is part of an integrated campaign from Mindshare that includes lift and foyer advertising and online branded content. The creative also forms the basis of a re-skin of the brand website, www.VanHeusen.com.au

Significantly the ads have sparked a public debate across the country with coverage appearing in The Courier Mail, Ten News Sydney and Brisbane, National Nine News and Mornings with Kerrie Ann and radio outlets Triple M Brisbane and 2UE.

But one wonders if the ‘controversy’ over the ad has been the driving force for the campaign – rather than the ‘banning’ inhibiting the campaign, it has provided it with free publicity.

This follows Jim Beam’s ‘The Bourbon’ campaign having two of its TVCs pulled for being… well, too creepy.

Which would you think is worth banning? Is any publicity still good publicity?