U.K. Bans Marc Jacobs Ad, But Are They Overreacting?

November 9, 2011 • Beauty, Fashion Blog, Industry


Dakota Fanning for Marc Jacobs perfume, Oh, Lola!

After yanking ads for flagrantly overworked airbrushing over the summer, the British Advertising Standards Authority is at it again, throwing the book this time at Marc Jacobs. The ASA has become known for it’s critical viewpoints of print and film ads that are sexually explicit or where models appear too skinny or unrealistic. In the ASA vs. MJ case, the censors banned an ad for the new Oh, Lola! perfume, which features a doll-like Dakota Fanning holding an oversized bottle of perfume between her legs. Apparently, complaints were being made about the sexually suggestive nature of Fanning is how holding the perfume bottle, which is shaped like a blooming pink flower, according to New York Magazine. The ASA stated,

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

Marc Jacobs himself had referenced a parallel between the perfume ads and the infamous literary character Lolita (which makes sense, considering the similarity of the two names). And he claimed that was one of the main reasons he chose Fanning as the star. “I knew [Dakota] could be this contemporary Lolita, seductive yet sweet.” But did he go to far?  Coty, who makes Oh, Lola!, defended the ad by saying that it was “provoking, but not indecent,” as it doesn’t show any “private parts or sexual activity.” And aren’t magazines in the U.K. known for publishing topless pics of their models (hello, Kate Moss)? Usually, its the U.S. that’s the most strict in terms of censorship.

What do you think, dear readers, is the banning of the ads justified or is the ASA overreacting?

-Alia Rajput

Article Source: NY Mag

Photo Source: nydailynews

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