highs and lows

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have banned the advert for Yves Saint Laurent's Belle D'Opium perfume, citing 'stimulated drug use' as it's primary reason.

"The TV ad for Yves Saint Laurent's Belle D'Opium showed a woman dancing to a drum beat, pointing to her inner elbow and running her finger along the inside of her forearm.

The model was then shown lying on the floor as a voiceover said: "I am your addiction. I am Belle D'Opium. The new fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent."

The Advertising Standards Authority said it was concerned that the image of Belle running her finger down her inner arm could be seen to simulate the injection of opiates into the body.

It also expressed concern the image of Belle moving in a series of short, rapid scenes, before the ad concluded with her body seizing upwards while lying on the floor, could be seen to simulate the effect of drugs on the body." - Sky News

The advert can be viewed on Youtube below:-

Whilst I can see that the advert has been shot in a deliberately provocative manner to show the allure of perfume and it's 'addiction', does it really promote heroin usage? The overused 90s term 'heroin chic' obviously springs to mind here but what amuses me more is that the ASA then said:-

"While we recognised the name Opium was a well-known designer perfume brand and did not consider it irresponsible or offensive to advertise Opium branded products... we nevertheless considered the woman's actions simulated drug use, and therefore concluded it was irresponsible and unacceptable for broadcast".

So it's OK to have a product which is virtually named after a highly addictive Class A substance (let's face it, Opium is best known in its synthesized form as Heroin) but heaven forbid, they don't wish for a dancing model to point to her arm with no drug paraphenalia, in case some fashionable youth decides to turn to smack?

I think it's a bit ridiculous.
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