ASA Adjudication on Coty UK Ltd
Coty UK Ltd t/a
St George's House
5 St George's Road
20 June 2012
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
A magazine ad for Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume was seen in ELLE magazine. The ad showed a female model sitting astride a horse. The model was leaning back slightly, wearing a short white dress and holding an outsized bottle of the product in her lap. Text stated "THE NEW FRAGRACE FOR WOMEN" and "DAISY MARC JACOBS EAU SO FRESH".
The complainant objected that the ad was offensive and irresponsible, because they believed it showed a young girl in a provocative pose.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Coty UK Ltd said the model was 19 at the time of the shoot. They also believed that her pose was not styled in a manner that suggested she was a child. The advertiser also said that the ad did not show private body parts or any sexual activity. The overall intention of the ad was to reflect the bubbly, playful nature of the fragrance.
They also highlighted that the target readership of the magazine was 18- to 25- year-old women and that they would be unlikely to find the ad offensive or irresponsible as it was in line with the consistently edgy style of the magazine.
Hearst magazines, publishers of ELLE, said the ad complemented the editorial style of the magazine. They agreed that the model was not underage nor was her pose sexually provocative.
The ASA understood that the ad had appeared in a magazine whose target readership was women between 18 and 25 years and that the advertiser and publisher believed that it reflected the tone and style of the magazine. We noted that the model was wearing a short white dress that exposed most of her leg, she was leaning back slightly whilst seated astride a horse and held a large bottle of the fragrance over her groin area.
We understood that the model was 19 at the time of the shoot and considered that, although youthful, she did not look like a child. We also acknowledged that the overall styling of the ad was consistent with the editorial content of the magazine in general but that the placement of the product could be seen as sexually suggestive. However, we concluded that as the model's overall pose and expression was not sexually provocative and because she did not appear to be a child, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or be seen to be irresponsible.
On this point we investigated the ad under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.