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Fashion ads under scrutiny

Adverts from H&M, Drop Dead Clothing and Marc Jacobs have been investigated after complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority that the ads were irresponsible.

Etailer Drop Dead Clothing had an advert banned for featuring a model which looked anorexic. The ad aired an advert online in June featuring a model in a number of images including bikinis and denim shorts.

A complaint, which was made to the ASA, deemed the ad irresponsible and offensive saying the model was underweight and looked anorexic. The etailer responded and said the model was a standard size eight however the complaint was upheld as the ASA said the model looked very thin with hip, rib and collar bones highly visible.

A Marc Jacobs perfume ad suffered the same fate. The advert, which featured actress and model Dakota Fanning wearing a thigh length dress and leaning back resting a vase shaped bottle in her lap, was reported to the ASA for being offensive and irresponsible as it portrayed the young model in a sexualised manner.

The association upheld the complaint because it said the position of the bottle was sexually provocative and the ad could be seen to sexualise a child as the model, although 17, looked under the age of 16.

Conversely H&M was cleared after a TV advert, featuring a model wearing high heels and coats, had nine complaints citing the model looked unhealthily skinny, could give an unrealistic idea of a desirable body image to children and was socially irresponsible.

However the complaints were not upheld due to H&M’s assurances that the retailer would take the complaints into consideration for future ad campaign. The ASA also said the model did not appear too thin for her frame and did not look emaciated or unhealthy.

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