Managers at the firm claimed the joke had been taken out of context, but admitted they had seriously misjudged the mood of the nation after the subscriber backlash.
Telecom NZ's no-sex campaign fizzles
New Zealand's incumbent telco has invoked the ire of its customers with an advertising campaign urging them not to have sex during the current Rugby World Cup.
In what was intended as a joke, Telecom New Zealand also called on subscribers to don black rubber rings to show their support for national rugby squad the All Blacks.
However, fiercely loyal fans hit back at what they considered a slur on the good name of the team.