Dakota Fanning’s well-known ad for Marc Jacob’s Oh Lola fragrance was banned in the U.K. for “sexualizing a child.” The ad, launched this past summer, includes Fanning holding an oversize bottle of the fragrance between her legs.
Since the age of 12, Fanning has modeled for Jacobs. At 17, he asked her to be the face of his newest fragrance, Oh Lola! It is the sister fragrance to his original Lola and was inspired by the novel Lolita that tells the story of a young girl who has a sexual relationship with her stepfather. Jacobs recently told Women’s Wear Daily that he chose Dakota because “I knew she could be this contemporary Lolita, seductive yet sweet.”
According to The Telegraph, Jacobs described the fragrance as sensual. Others seem to agree as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received complaints about Fanning posing in an inappropriate manner. Although Dakota is legally not a child, her appearance in the ad does portray a youthful look with simple, barely there makeup and a short polka dot pink dress. From Jacob’s statements about choosing Fanning, it seems this was his intent.
In response to the ban, ASA said, “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 draw attention to her sexuality. Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualize a child.”
Coty, the perfumiers who created the scent, defended the ad because it was “provoking, but not indecent.”
The ads received scrutiny when they were released in June. Only time will tell if the U.S. will follow Britain’s lead by also banning the ads. [Source]