Is it offensive? Dakota Fanning’s advert for Marc Jacobs ‘Oh, Lola’ fragrance

An advert featuring Dakota Fanning for Marc Jacobs Oh Lola fragrance has been banned in the UK

Yes, readers, it’s another one of those “Are you offended?” moments. So let’s cut right to the chase, shall we?

Are you offended by this advert for Marc Jacobs’ ‘Oh, Lola!’ fragrance, featuring Dakota Fanning? Because some people are. Four, to be exact. And because of that, the advert has now been banned in the UK. Given that it was first revealed back in June, we’re going to bet Marc Jacobs is absolutely delighted by this turn of events, because let’s face it: if you want an advert to get widespread coverage, the quickest way to do that is to get it banned. There is no better way to ensure that lots of people get to see your advert than by taking steps to try to make sure that no one gets to see it. It’s a funny old world, eh?

Here’s a quick cheat sheet to bring you up to speed with some of the facts of this:

  • Dakota Fanning is 17
  • Marc Jacobs has said that Oh, Lola! was inspired by the Vladimir Nabokov novel ‘Lolita’, and that he chose Dakota for the advert because he felt she could be “a young Lolita”.
  • The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received four complaints about the advert.
  • In their ruling, they said that although Dakota is 17, she looks younger, and that this, combined with the provocative positioning of the perfume bottle, makes the advert unacceptable.

The ASA’s statement:
“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 sexualise a child. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious offence.”

What do you think? Is it offensive? Should it have been banned? Tell us!

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