Should This Ad Be Banned?

November 14, 2011

The latest ad for a Marc Jacobs fragrance, starring Dakota Fanning, has been banned in the UK for being “sexually provocative”.

The 17-year-old actress poses in the campaign for the designer’s Oh, Lola! perfume wearing a pale pink dress with an oversize bottle between her legs. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which recently banned campaigns by Maybelline and Lancome for being misleading, received a number of complaints that the ad was seen as over-sexualising children.

“We noted that the model was holding up the perfume bottle which rested in her lap between her legs and we considered that its position was sexually provocative,” the ASA said in a statement. “We understood the model was 17 years old but we considered she looked under the age of 16. We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality,” they revealed in a statement.

“Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise a child.”

The ASA ruled that the ad was likely to cause “serious offence” and must not appear again.

Marc Jacobs released a statement calling the ban “unfortunate,” while Coty UK, the maker of the fragrance, argues that the campaign is “providing but not indecent.”

Jacobs described Fanning as a “contemporary Lolita”, after seeing her in The Runaways. Her 13-year-old sister Elle Fanning has also starred in the designer’s campaigns.

What do you think? Should this ad be banned?

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