Marc Jacobs perfume ad featuring Dakota Fanning banned in the UK

An advertisement for Marc Jacobs perfume featuring actress Dakota Fanning has been banned for ‘sexualising a child’ according to the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ad features an image of the 17-year-old actress in a short dress sitting on the floor with a bottle of perfume between her thighs while the tagline reads ‘Oh, Lola!’.

The fashion designer and perfume creator Marc Jacobs explained they chose the young actress as the face of the campaign to represent a ‘contemporary Lolita’.

[See also: Parent's fury at 10-year-old 'supermodel']

The ASA decided the position Fanning was taking in the ad was ‘sexually provocative’.

They said: “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.”

Fanning recently appeared in the film The Runaways as a 15-year-old punk rock singer. Jacobs says his decision to use her in the campaign was largely inspired by her role in the movie.

“Dakota was in it, and I knew she could be this contemporary Lolita, seductive yet sweet,” he said.

The decision made by the ASA falls in line with new concern by the Prime Minister about the sexualisation and commercialisation of children and the danger it entails.

[Relevant: Website sparks outrage selling pro-anorexia t-shirts for children]

Last month, David Cameron announced the creation of the website Parentport which allows parents and individuals to report companies which they believe are sexually and commercially exploiting children.

Do you think this ad is stepping over the line? Or does this ban stand in the way of artistic expression?

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