A campaign for fashion brand Diesel that picked up top honours at the Cannes International Advertising Festival has been banned by the UK advertising watchdog.
Some 33 complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority over the ‘Be Stupid’ outdoor and press campaign with claims that the work was unsuitable to be seen by children, offensive and encouraged anti-social behaviour.
The same campaign was awarded the Grand Prix Lion in the outdoor category at the recent Cannes festival.
Created by Anomaly, New York, one execution showed a woman holding open her bikini bottoms with one hand and taking a photograph of her genitals with the other. Another featured an image of a woman on a stepladder who was lifting her top and exposing her breasts to a security camera.
A third featured an image of a giant inflatable shape with a smiley face on it. Two denim clad bottoms were shown poking through holes in the face as if to form its eyes.
Diesel (London) said that collectively the ‘Be Stupid’ campaign was a rallying call to do things differently from the accepted wisdom and to live a life less ordinary.
They added that the ads did not contain any provocative nudity beyond the usual amounts shown in many swimwear, sportswear or lingerie ads.
The two magazines involved in the press campaign - Dazed and Confused, and Grazia – were also claimed to have an adult readership.
However the ASA ruled that using outdoor media meant the work could be seen by children and that the images of both the woman exposing her breasts and another photographing her genitalia could cause “serious or widespread offence.”
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