Dakota Fanning Marc Jacobs ad ‘sexualises children’

The advertising watchdog has stepped up pressure on brands that use overtly sexualised images in campaigns by banning an advertising campaign for a Marc Jacobs perfume because it showed teenage actress Dakota Fanning acting in a “sexualised manner”.


A press ad for the “Oh, Lola!” perfume showed Fanning sitting alone on a floor in a thigh length dress holding an oversized bottle in her lap.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the 17-year-old model looked under 16 and that the length of her dress, and bottle position “drew attention to her sexuality”. It added that the ad was “irresponsible and likely to cause serious offence”.

Brand owner Coty UK argued that it was unlikely to cause offense because the ad ran in “highly stylised fashion magazines” that were read by over 25s used to similar images.

The ASA has vowed to crackdown on overtly sexual ads following the publication of the David Cameron endorsed report by Mothers Union chief executive Reg Bailey in May.

In a progress report on implementing Bailey’s recommendations delivered to the Prime Minister last month, the ASA promised to establish a framework for judging whether outdoor ads that can be seen by large numbers of children are sexually suggestive.

Earlier this year, the ASA moved to bolster its knowledge of children and family issues by appointing a former head teacher, Rachel Childs and former chief executive of Barnardo’s Martin Narey to the ASA Council, which rules on whether brands have breached advertising codes.

Separately, alcohol industry group the Portman Group has banned a vodka liqueur product called Stiffy’s Jaffa Cake for “inappropriately linking an alcohol product with sexual success”. The drink will now be renamed Stivy’s.



Contents and context are as crucial as targeting

Michael Nutley

The recently developed relationship between targeting and creative poses a challenge to agency business models. The big trends in digital advertising during the past 12 months have all been about improving targeting, and by extension all about data. The tail end of last year was dominated by the adoption of retargeting by online retailers, and […]


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