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NO FAN OF DAKOTA: Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled Wednesday that the print ad for Marc Jacobs’ Oh, Lola fragrance featuring Dakota Fanning and shot by Juergen Teller “was irresponsible and likely to cause serious offense,” and has banned the ad from appearing again in its current form.
The ad features Fanning posing in a pink polka-dot dress, with an oversize bottle of the Oh, Lola fragrance resting in her lap. The ASA, which argued that it portrayed “the young model in a sexualized manner,” received four complaints about the ad after it appeared in magazines in August.
This story first appeared in the November 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As part of its adjudication, the ASA said that Coty, which owns Marc Jacobs’ beauty license, countered that it “did not believe the styling in the ad suggested the model was underage or that the ad was inappropriately sexualized, because it did not show any private body parts or sexual activity.”
Responding to the ban, designer Marc Jacobs said, “It was our pleasure to work with Dakota Fanning for the Oh, Lola campaign. She is a smart, pretty, interesting, talented young woman, and we would never have suggested an advertising concept that we thought was inappropriate. I believe she is also very thoughtful about the projects she takes on and would not have done something that she felt was in questionable taste. It’s really unfortunate that people have taken anything negative from what we believe is a really good campaign, and one that so perfectly embodies the fragrance.”
Coty added that the campaign had appeared in “highly stylized fashion magazines” targeted at those over 25 years old, and said that such readers were unlikely to find the images offensive, as they are similar to many others in fashion titles.
However, the ASA found that while Fanning was 17 years old, “we considered she looked under the age of 16,” and that the positioning of the perfume bottle was “sexually provocative. We considered the ad could be seen to sexualize a child. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious offense,” the ASA said. It ruled that the ad breached two of its codes: social responsibility and harm and offense.