Foxtel has apologised and said it will on Wednesday night remove a Kings Cross billboard depicting bestiality that was "clearly in appalling taste".
The prominent billboard advertising the Foxtel arts channel Studio is currently placed on William Street in Kings Cross and depicts a man simulating sex with a pig.
A spokesman for Foxtel said that the billboard ‘‘was intended to provoke, but is clearly in appalling taste and demonstrates a lapse of judgment by Studio and a failure in the approvals process at Foxtel".
‘‘Once senior management at Foxtel became aware of the nature of the image we instructed Studio to remove and replace the billboard," a statement said.
‘‘Foxtel regrets any offence that has been caused.’’
Chris Keely, general manager of the of the Studio channel, told Fairfax Media: ‘‘While art can sometimes be divisive or provocative, we certainly did not intend to upset anyone with this campaign.
"We apologise for any offence that was caused by the billboard.
"We will be immediately replacing it overnight."
The image was taken from an episode of the British television mini-series Black Mirror, by Charlie Brooker. In the episode, a princess is kidnapped and her captor demands that the British prime minister have sex with a pig on live national television before she is released.
The show is screening on the Foxtel channel Studio as part of its "Festival of WTF".
Earlier on Wednesday, Wendy Francis, of the Australian Christian Lobby, said the prominent billboard was distressing and inappropriate, especially for children.
"I'm in my 50s. I'm big enough and ugly enough, but that's really distressing. My stomach actually turned," she said of the billboard.
"The damage is already done. It's already up now, it's got media attention. This is exactly what these advertisers want. They know this is damaging children. They know that this is not normal behaviour. They know that it will create attention.
"They are not thinking of our society, of children being confronted by adult concepts. And these are adult concepts that are not even normal."
Ms Francis, a former Family First candidate for the Senate, said the billboard was a prime example that self-regulation within the advertising industry was not working.
She predicted it would be quickly removed "but not before they get the media attention they were after".
"They would have every intention of offending and knowingly breaking rules, but they do it anyway, and there's no penalty for their misdemeanour," she said.
In 2011, Ms Francis lobbied to have safe sex advertisements removed from bus shelters but they were reinstated after a public outcry.
Tim Allerton, managing director of Sydney-based City Public Relations, said the shock tactics used in the billboard were a desperate bid for attention.
He said David Ogilvy, the British advertising executive hailed as the "father of advertising", and other advertising greats would be "rolling in their graves at such a paucity of imagination and creativity in advertising".
"It appears that campaigns like this show the agency has run out of ideas and is just looking for shock and PR value from a shocking image," he said.
"Agencies are heading down a slippery slope as they go for more shocking images in desperate attempts to get our attention."
The Advertising Standards Board have been contacted for comment.
with Megan Levy
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