An advert starring Japanese girl group AKB48 has aired in Japan and has sparked a storm of controversy since a YouTube version hit the 'net. Many even call for it to be withdrawn.

The commercial for Puccho candy stars the band - dressed as schoolgirls - passing around sweets from member to member, using only their mouths.

Erotic, perhaps. Inappropriate, almost certainly. The comments underneath the online version of the video have been mostly congratulatory (and, in some cases, obscene) but there's a fair amount of outrage too.

Whether that will have any affect on Japanese advertising regulators is doubtful. And even if it is withdrawn, the 120,000-plus views on YouTube so far will be doing everything Puccho wanted in the first place.

Our only worry is that it's a pretty poor example to set when there's a flu virus going around. Tasty they may be (the candy, we're talking about), but we don't fancy a week in bed with the lurgy, thank you very much.

What do you think? Should it be banned? Let us know in the comments below...