The Conservative Party produced an election advert which showed two men in a shower ‘coming out’ as Tory supporters.
The advert, one in a series of three, was to be shown in cinemas but was dropped for fear of a backlash from grassroots supporters.
Two men are shown “grappling in a shower” in one of the adverts. One of the men says: “It feels so right. I am going to tell everyone.”
The camera then pans back to show the men’s teammates looking on in horror before a Conservative slogan is shown.
The adverts were dropped before they were broadcast but they have still sparked controversy.
Press reports have revealed the ads were made at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The ads were produced as part of the “I’ve never voted Tory before” campaign which depicted first-time Conservative Party voters saying why they were backing David Cameron.
Poster adverts for the campaign were criticised by some for being bland, but the cinema adverts were ditched over fears they may upset viewers, media reports suggest.
The Sunday Times quotes an insider who said: “They were designed to appeal to voters who would not have thought of backing the Tories in the past.
“However, the risk with these ads was that they might have alienated more traditional core supporters”, the insider said.
But ConservativeHome, an influential Tory blog, said they were ditched over concerns they were “at best out-of-date and at worst self-loathing”.
One of the adverts shows a stereotypical Asian family being shocked at their son viewing what looks like pornography.
But on closer inspection the material is actually Conservative Party literature. The mother is upset at her son’s political decision and complains to his father about what the neighbours might think.
The third advert shows a pregnant girl confessing to her parents “I’m three months Conservative”.
The Sunday Times said it cost more than £100,000 to film the three ads, while ConservativeHome speculated that they could have cost up to £500,000.