EXPLICIT toothpaste adverts handed out in university welcome bags have been branded as “sexual harassment”.

An advert given out to University of Sussex freshers this week features a woman dribbling toothpaste out of her mouth on the front with the words “spit” and “swallow” on the back.

The company behind the material, Brushbox, have apologised for the advert calling it "inappropriate" and "misguided".

A feminist campaigner said: “It’s obviously giving the message that this is how men view women.

“It is sexual harassment and is intimidating for women.

“As if young women don’t feel vulnerable enough as it is in our porn saturated rape culture.”

Academics, students, and a Brighton and Hove City councillor have all rushed to denounce the material after it was posted to Twitter.

Councillor Emma Daniel said: “This is foul – really inappropriate at a place where women are turning up to learn and achieve.”

The company has since apologised for the advert.

They said: “We completely understand that the image could be deemed as derogatory to women and for that we are truly sorry - this was never our intention, and we take full responsibility for any upset it has caused."

The university's student union have condemned the material, stating they will be reviewing their contract with the company. 

A University of Sussex spokesman said: “We can absolutely see why this promotional material in our Students’ Union’s freshers packs has sparked such a strong reaction.

"We’re sure this discussion will continue and that our Students’ Union and other student unions will feed back the reaction to the company responsible.”