Fashion giant Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) is in trouble with French regulators after its new advertising campaign for Paris Fashion Week caused fury for its demeaning depiction of the models.
The series of four ads, that ran as an outdoor campaign in the French capital, show underweight models in roller-skates in revealing, sexualised positions. The campaign has been described as “porno chic”.
France’s advertising watchdog, Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP), has reportedly received 120 complaints about the ads while actual YSL stores have been protested. The watchdog also inferred the campaign could possibly be breaking rules around causing “mental harm to adolescents” while the thinness of the models was also a concern.
ARPP’s Stephane Martin told news wire service Reuters that the ads were were a serious breach of rules set by the advertising industry to maintain “dignity and respect in the representation of the person”.
“We asked the brand and the ad displayer to make changes to these visuals as soon as possible,” Martin said.
“These images, because of the postures of the women, presented as offered to the passers-by, present the woman as an object and suggest an idea of sexual submission. They trivialise sexist stereotypes and are in this sense likely to shock the public sensibility,” he said.
The feminist group Osez le Féminisme (Dare to be Feminist) tweeted: “Bravo @YSL for your misogynist ads. In the run up to 8th March (International Women’s Day), it’s in the best possible taste.”
While Wall Street Journalist and historian Dr Amanda Foreman tweeted: “Thank you @YSL for letting us know what you really think of all the women who buy your clothes. Same to you.”