'Lolita' perfume ad --- 'sexually provocative' ...
Dakota Fanning's 'Lolita' perfume ad for Marc Jacobs is banned for 'sexualising children'
By SEAN POULTER
Last updated at 12:02 AM on 9th November 2011
A perfume advertisement featuring teen actress Dakota Fanning has been banned on the basis it appeared to ‘sexualise a child’.
The actress is 17, but she looked younger in the magazine ad for ‘Oh Lola!’, where she was sitting on the floor with the perfume bottle between her thighs.
The scent is the creation of U.S fashion designer Marc Jacobs, who said he chose the young actress because she could be a ‘contemporary Lolita’.
Irresponsible? The Advertising Standard Authority have banned an ad for Marc Jacobs perfume starring 17-year-old actress Dakota Fanning, branding it 'sexually provocative'
The perfume was made by the global beauty brand Coty, which has previously come under fire for its use of sexual imagery.
In a second ruling, watchdogs have also banned a website ad from the clothing brand Drop Dead Clothing, which appeared to legitimise anorexia.
The ad featured an apparently dangerously thin model, with visible hip, rib, collar and thigh bones, wearing a bikini and denim shorts.
The bans have been announced by the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) and follow calls from the Prime Minister for action to prevent the sexualisation of children.
The ASA said the ‘Oh, Lola!’ advertisement showed Dakota Fanning, sitting on the floor, alone, wearing a pale coloured thigh length dress.
‘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,’ it said.
In a second ruling, watchdogs have also banned a website ad from the clothing brand Drop Dead Clothing, who produce the perfume, which appeared to legitimize anorexia
Coty admitted the perfume image was ‘edgy’ but denied that the styling suggested the model was underage or inappropriately sexualised
‘We understood the model was 17 years old but we considered she looked under the age of 16.’
It said: ‘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.
'We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious offence.’
It is clear that Marc Jacobs intended to exploit the fact that Dakota Fanning looks extremely young for her age.
Speaking recently, the designer said the decision had been inspired by her appearance as a 15-year-old punk rock singer in the coming of age film The Runaways.
Designer Marc Jacobs described Dakota as a 'contemporary Lolita'
‘Dakota was in it, and I knew she could be this contemporary Lolita, seductive yet sweet,’ he said.
Lolita featured in the controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov about a middle-aged man’s sexual obsession for a 12-year-old girl.
The second controversial advertisement for the successful Drop Dead Clothing, which targets the young, appeared on its website in June.
The ASA said: ‘We considered that using a noticeably skinny model with visible hip, rib, collar and thigh bones, who wore heavy makeup and was posed in ways that made her body appear thinner, was likely to impress upon that audience that the images were representative of the people who might wear Drop Dead's clothing, and as being something to aspire to.
‘Therefore, while we considered the bikini and denim short images might not cause widespread or serious offence, we concluded they were socially irresponsible.’
The rulings are in tune with warnings from the Prime Minister about the dangers of the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood.
Just last month, Mr Cameron announced the setting up of a Parentport(correct) website to allow people to report firms that overstep the mark.
‘There is a growing tide of concern up and down the country among parents who, like me, are concerned about our children being exposed to inappropriate advertising and sexual imagery and growing up too early,’ he said.
The Lib-Dem MP Jo Swinson(correct), who has campaigned against deceptive advertising, particularly airbrushed images of women, backed the bans.
‘I’m glad the ASA has taken action against such socially irresponsible images,’ she said.
‘It’s frankly shocking that any advertiser can think it appropriate to try to create an image of a ‘contemporary Lolita’ to sell its products. There is huge parental concern about the over-sexualisation of children.
‘Rather than glamourising stick-thin bodies in fashion ads, advertisers should recognise the public’s desire for a greater diversity of body shapes, sizes, colour and age in the media images they see.
‘Marc Jacobs and Drop Dead Clothing need to take a hard look at the kind of damaging messages they are sending out in these advertising campaigns.’
Coty admitted the perfume image was ‘edgy’ but denied that the styling suggested the model was underage or inappropriately sexualised.
‘It did not show any private body parts or sexual activity. The giant perfume bottle was provoking but not indecent,’ the firm said.
In its defence, Drop Dead Clothing insisted the model they used was a standard, healthy and normal size eight.
The firm said: ‘While many people in the UK may find a size eight too slim, a size eight was a normal UK clothing size and it would be unreasonable to consider a size eight model offensive.’
The firm said its models were everyday people and ‘representative of young people’
It said while she might not have any fat around her ribs, she had a bust, hips and healthy skin.
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