Vogue under fire for raunchy Gucci advertisement

LONDON - Vogue, Conde Nast's high fashion and style bible, looks set to come under fire from the advertising watchdog for a raunchy advertisement for Gucci in its February issue, which is out this week.

The ad features 24-year old model Carmen Kass, who is pulling at her knickers to reveal the letter G shaved into her pubic hair while a male model is kneeling down beside her in a provocative position. The picture was taken by celebrity photographer Mario Testino and has been unofficially dubbed "Pubic Enemy".

The Advertising Standards Authority said this morning that once it receives an official complaint it will investigate the ad. So far the watchdog said it had received around 10 telephone complaints, and one written complaint about a Gucci ad in Vogue's sister title Tatler, although this was for a different and less offensive execution.

However, consumer groups have this morning attacked the ad calling it "deeply offensive" and "extremely harmful" and called for its immediate ban.

Robert Whelan, of the Family Education Trust, said: "It is hugely disappointing that a magazine like Vogue should be displaying images like this."

John Beyer, director of Mediawatch UK, which claims it monitors media standards on behalf of consumers, said the ads were damaging to society and called for the ASA to exercise tighter controls on such sexually explicit ads. "Imagery showing young women in this way is extremely harmful to society and should not be appearing in mainstream magazines."

He added: "The ASA has a duty to ensure that advertisements are decent, and this clearly isn't. It's deeply offensive and should be banned immediately."

Conde Nast defended Vogue's decision to run the ad. "The new Gucci ad is running in every important fashion magazine in Europe and Asia," a Vogue spokesman said.

"It's been personally created by Tom Ford, the genius behind Gucci," he added.

Ford was also responsible for the controversial Yves St Laurent ads featuring a reclining Sophie Dahl wearing nothing but a pearl choker and a pair of stillettoes.

The advertising watchdog received 730 complaints about the ad, more than any other campaign since the British Safety Council’s safe sex campaign in 1995, which featured the Pope wearing a crash helmet.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).