The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently banned an advertisement featuring 17-year-old Dakota Fanning for the Marc Jacobs perfume Oh, Lola!, claiming that it sexualizes a child. In the ad, Fanning is wearing a short dress, giving the camera a slightly come hither glare and holding a bottle of the fragrance between her legs.
“We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality,” stated the perverts at the ASA. “Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise a child.”
So here’s the provocative photo:
Are you scandalized?
I personally think Coty, the makers of the perfume, fully intended for this ad to be sexually provocative. Anyone who says otherwise is either an idiot or a Coty representative. In fact, Marc Jacobs himself told Women’s Wear Daily that he cast Fanning because she could be a “contemporary Lolita, seductive yet sweet.”
Lolita, of course, is a 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov about a middle-aged man who falls for a 12-year-old girl. So, yea, apparently it’s no secret what Jacobs and Coty were trying to accomplish. They clearly just succeeded too well and were totally busted.
Come on in and take a seat, Coty.
As the father of a young girl, I probably should rant and rave and scream, “What’s wrong with this sick world we live in?!” I just don’t have the energy to get worked up over this. Would I let my 17-year-old daughter pose in an ad like this? Maybe, because I feel that 17 is old enough to make decisions and explore the idea of sexual attraction. Since my daughter will be locked away in a tower until she’s 35, though, we’ll never need to worry about that.
Here is my main problem with the ad — it’s not good! As far as advertising campaigns go, this looks like something a freshman marketing student would create for a college class and not something a huge ad agency would put together for a major brand. Now this Tommy Lee Jones ad for Boss coffee is more like it:
Also, this type of sexual portrayal of minors for marketing purposes is nothing new. I mean, check out this perverse advertisement:
It’s gonna blow? Choking hazard? Well, I never…
Commenters: What say you of the Fanning ad? Something to be upset about? Should it have been banned? Does it make you want to buy perfume?
Well… does it?