INNUENDO has always played a major role in advertising and more often than not it is perfectly acceptable if within the bounds of common decency.

Sexual innuendo is, however, quite another matter, whether it be in advertising or indeed in day-to-day life.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that people have been justifiably outraged over a beer mat which was included in “Freshers’ Packs” for newly-enrolled students at the University of Sussex.

The front side showed a woman dribbling toothpaste while on the reverse were the words “spit” and “swallow”.

Without going into detail it does not take a rocket scientist to work out what is implied.

OK, it is an advertisement for toothpaste, but surely there is a more classy way of getting the message across that they want you to buy their particular brand?

The company behind it, having been challenged over its implied message, has itself branded it as “inappropriate” and “misguided” which it most certainly is.

Well, at least it has seen the error of its ways, but it is always easy to be wise after the event.

Most of the first-year students will be teenagers and away from home for the first time.

No right thinking person wants young women, or indeed any woman, portrayed purely as a sex object.

Objectifying women in this way has played a major role in advertising in the past but that has now, thankfully, been eradicated from most sectors of promoting a particular product.

In this case, however, a major misjudgment was made. It was not clever and it is not funny.