D&G ad 'irresponsible'

Fashion label Dolce & Gabbana must market itself more responsibly in the future after one of its adverts showed models with bloody wounds and brandishing knives.

The controversial adverts, which intended to show an iconic representation of the Napoleonic era, attracted over 150 complaints after they featured in The Times and The Daily Telegraph.

Although the same campaign featured in a variety of print media in Europe, China and Hong Kong without any complaints, the ad regulator deemed them irresponsible for a UK audience.

One complaint the ASA received even said the ads were inappropriate because they could be seen as linking self-harm with fashion, and may inspire acts of self-harm among youngsters.

The regulator was unconvinced of the charge, saying that the ads were highly stylised and featured in publications with an adult readership.

But in its ruling, the Advertising Standards Authority agreed with the majority of the public, and decided the ads could be seen as condoning and glorifying knife-related violence.

Furthermore, The Times has been told that it must take greater care in the placement of adverts in the future, as the ad was juxtaposed opposite an article on knife-related crime.

“We concluded that, in that context, the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence,” the ASA said.

Ruling on its publication in The Daily Telegraph, the watchdog added: “We noted the comments of D&G and the Daily Telegraph. We considered that the depiction of a woman with a wound to her chest and a knife in her hand could be seen as glamorising knife-related crime in the UK and concluded that it was irresponsible.”

D&G have been reminded it has a “duty to prepare ads with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.”

The company and The Times were also told to “take greater care in the placement of similar ads in future.”


11th January 2007

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