Do You Think This Gucci Ad Should Have Been Banned?

Photo: ASA
Gucci's new campaign video is getting a lot of heat in the U.K.: Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned an ad for the brand's 2016 cruise collection because of its "unhealthily thin" models, The Drum reports.

The online campaign in question — a video directed by Glen Luchford starring bright young things raving in slow motion to a cover of Joy Division's "Control," which featured still shots of the models at the very end — was first flagged when it appeared on the U.K.'s The Times’ website back in December. A reader complaint prompted the ASA to investigate and issue a report on the matter.

The organization found one image in particular — of a model in a long dress leaning against a wall — to be alarming. So alarming, in fact, that the ASA slammed the image for being "irresponsible." The ASA said her torso and arms "appeared to be out of proportion with her head and lower body," and that her makeup "made her face look gaunt," according to the report. Both Gucci and The Times acknowledged that the models cast each had a "slim build," but believed that they "were not depicted in a way that could be interpreted as unhealthily thin" — and that, ultimately, it was "a subjective matter." Not so fast, though. The ASA concluded that the ad "must not appear again in its current form."

It's certainly a fine line, but whether it’s down to a camera angle, or a makeup illusion, or something else, the image highlighted by the ASA is concerning. And it's not Gucci's first go at producing a controversial ad: In 2003, under then-creative director Tom Ford, the brand released a campaign featuring supermodel Carmen Kass with a Gucci G shaved into her pubic hair. The image was banned almost instantly, but became iconic — it was perceived as rebellious and sexy, which only added to the brand’s allure. Being called out for featuring overly thin models, however, is not a coolness-inducing reason to be banned.

Other luxury brands have felt the ASA's hammer come down, too. Last May, the ASA banned this Miu Miu ad, but the criticism was age-related, not about body size: the organization claimed model Mia Goth looked too young for the image's suggestive nature (though she was 21 when it was shot). In 2011, Marc Jacobs' fragrance ad starring Dakota Fanning was banned by the ASA because the then-17-year-old actress apparently looked under 16, which would've implied the sexualization of a child. And sometimes, the policing of high-end campaigns is about false advertising instead of alarming or inappropriate imagery. Case in point: Dior's mascara ad being banned for featuring misleadingly long eyelashes on Natalie Portman in 2012.

If hype is anything to go by, Gucci is at the top of its game again, presenting stunning, cult-loved collections to adoring fans under its relatively new designer, Alessandro Michele. So this playing into fashion's extreme physical standards may come as a disappointment to fans.

More from Fashion

This story was originally published on September 2, 2016. When we first spot a new item, our gut reaction is to connect it to a past decade's aesthetic: "...
Don't worry — Kate Middleton just can't seem to let go of her favorite boots either. The Duchess wore a pair of Penelope Chilvers long tassel boots in ...
Whether you know what they are or not, chances are you've seen (and laughed at) them: Memes have infiltrated the internet, making the posts in our ...
Meet Lulu Bonfils: artist, model, Instagram champ, and all around cool girl stomping on pre-determined model rules in sick combat boots
While most people count down the days until holidays, vacations, or birthdays, my calendar fills with red X’s until it’s finally fall. From leaves changing...
Nothing gets us rethinking our entire aesthetic like changing seasons. As soon as the fall equinox rolls around, it's back to the drawing board to narrow ...
Who needs words these days with so many emoji keyboards to choose from — and to do the talking for us? On the heels of Kimoji, ChyMoji, and all the other -...
(Paid Content) Though the temps are still doing that awkward dance between summer and fall, we're already dreaming of sweater weather and itching to scoop ...
This post was originally published on April 22, 2016. Like mom jeans, it's a little funny when a stereotype sparks a fashion obsession. And while it took ...
From heading straight to the men’s section to memorizing the company’s delivery schedule, every dedicated shopper seems to have their own tips and tricks ...
This post was originally published on July 28th, 2016. The business-casual dress code is one of the most difficult to define, and that might have ...
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton recently stopped by Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns and made a poignant observation about the ...
This story was originally published on September 7, 2016. Each time fashion season arrives, there's somehow more up in the air than seasons past. It ...
Let's say you're Beyoncé. Let's say your daughter is Blue Ivy. Let's say you have to, for whatever reason, attend a football game. Let's say you have a ...