Dakota Fanning’s Perfume Ad Deemed Too Provocative for the U.K.

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Marc Jacobs

Dakota Fanning’s baby-faced features have designer Marc Jacobs in trouble in the U.K., where the Advertising Standards Authority banned her new perfume ad for portraying children in a sexual manner.

The 17-year-old provocatively poses for Jacobs’ “Oh, Lola!” fragrance in a short dress, holding a bottle of the new scent positioned between her legs. The ad was featured in the London Evening Standard‘s ES Magazine and Sunday Times Style magazine, the Guardian reports.

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The ASA said it received four complaints following its magazine premiere. The magazines involved and Coty UK, which produced the ad, said they did not receive any complaints.

The advertising watchdog deemed the ad offensive, arguing that because Fanning looks like she is actually under the age of 16, the ad sexualizes children. Coty contends that the targeted demographic for the campaign is actually readers over the age of 25 and that the image is similar to other edgy pictures in the publications that ran the ads. But the ASA thinks otherwise.

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“We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and the position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality,” the ASA said. “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 like to cause serious offence.”

This is the first ASA ruling since last month when the watchdog published a new guide for advertisers in order to curb sexual imagery in outdoor campaigns. The new suggestions came in conjunction with Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street summit on reducing the sexualization of advertisements, television and products. The summit included magazine editors, trade and advertising companies and broadcasters to discuss the issue.

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