The worst kind of wrongs

The worst kind of wrongs November 14, 2011

Kudos once again to the British for taking the high moral road.

The responsible road, given the state of our children as of late.

The British Advertising Standards Authority has banned  a new Marc Jacob’s perfume ad because they deemed it too provocative.

Here’s the Ad:


Yes. That’s sweet, not so little, Dakota Fanning, all grown-up and posing like a porn star in the making.

And here’s what the Brits had to say about banning the ad:

“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. We understood the model was 17 years old but we considered she looked under the age of 16. 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 sexualize a child.”

That here in America we barely blink at ads like these kind of makes a mockery out of our self-righteousness over the Penn State affair, don’t you think?

You’d think people would instinctively know that sexually objectifying children is one of the worst kind of wrongs. But apparently Marc Jacobs lacks any moral fiber. After you’ve pushed the envelop in most every other arena of adult sexuality, the only way to get attention in a noisy world is to target children. Marc Jacobs is simply trying to get the consumer’s attention. I’m saddened that one of our favorite child stars, Dakota Fanning, would feel the need to prove herself an adult by posing in this particular fashion.

When it comes to advertising in America, it’s all about being provocative, not responsible.




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  • Janet Nye

    But she’s a girl! It’s okay to sexually exploit girls, right? If it were an underage boy with a phallic symbol near a, um, point of entry, this would have never been used.

    Sarcasm off.

  • And not just with advertising . . . *sigh*

  • Yay for British Advertising Standards Authority!
    Just like Simon Cowell came over here to judge American Idol, could some of their folks come over here and govern our advertising agencies?

  • Rose Marie Morton

    The first thing I thought when I saw the picture is, before reading the post, “she’s just a child!” This is just wrong on so many levels. One level is, like you say, that more and more of this type of advertising makes us somewhat immune to the sight of implied sexuality of children. Thank you, British Advertising Standards Authority!

  • So I got a tweet from Marc Jacobs Intl. telling me that this was old news and that if I found this ad campaign shocking wait until they reveal the next one… Arrogance, it seems, has no boundaries.

  • AF Roger

    The pursuit of dollars, ever more of them, is more boundless than the universe. Several years ago, you asked me to help locate a KIA’s family members in the area so that a vet could contact them. I went to the public library to look through microfilm issues of the local newspapers from the late 60’s until I finally found the obit that listed survivors.

    It was shocking to see the ads in these papers from a time when everyone said we were sinking morally like the Titanic. The major department stores had ads for clothing, of course, including women’s and girls’ underwear. But not one included an actual photograph, let alone anything in color which was still years off. The images were all line drawings only. They were very, very modest in what they portrayed, and they were all stylized in order to be one step removed from the actual proportions of the human body–in the direction of moderation, not exaggeration. Compare to the ads that arrive in newspapers and magazines today or to the Vicky’s Secret commercials on TV. Compare to the reality crime shows which now not only deal with the subject matter of violent and violent sexual crimes. Now we get the realistic re-enactment flashbacks of those crimes complete with screams, beatings, blood and sexual acts. And that’s just what’s out there in the normal flow of things that don’t even require paid cable subscriptions and passwords. The more “shocked” and overstimulated people become, the more stimulatiuon is required. That’s not shocking. It’s the cycle of the downward spiral of addiction. We are surrounded by children regularly exposed to it and adults who seem not even to notice the difference anymore.

  • Payton

    This women is 2 months shy of being 18, if she committed a crime she would be charged as an adult. I think she’s capable of making a choice to take part in this ad and you cannot put restrictions on a person because your opinion is she LOOKS younger then she is. I look 18 an I’m 26, yet I couldnt be denied at bar for “looking young”. Thats not how things work. Ps. 16 is the consenting age for sex in most states. Yet she’s too young for a picture in a dress. I think people just like to find something to whine about. An comparing this PICTURE to the rape victims at penn state in kind of evil an I doubt those or their families would disagree.

    • No one is saying Dakota Fanning isn’t old enough to pose however she chooses. And no one is suggesting that this sort of advertising is in kind evil as Penn State. The point the Brits are making and one I concur with, is that the ad itself sexualizes children. The ad was an admitted reference to the novel Lolita, about a man who fixates on a 12-year-old, and grooms her to be his sexual partner after he becomes her stepfather.
      The notion that it’s okay to groom children for sex, whether it be in a novel, or in an ad, is its own kind of evil.