YSL ad courts controversy with full-frontal male nudity

PARIS - While breasts have been fair game in fashion for a long time, the penis is about to get its turn, with advertising for the new Yves Saint Laurent men's fragrance M7 to feature full-frontal nudity.

The black-and-white print ad for M7 will show the martial arts star Samuel de Cubber reclining with his legs apart and his penis visible.

It was created by Tom Ford, the American designer behind YSL. In reports, Ford said: "Perfume is worn on the skin, so why hide the body? The M7 campaign is really pure... it's a very academic nude."

Whether or not the advertising watchdogs will see it in the same way is another matter. YSL has already produced the most complained-about poster in the history of British advertising, with its shots for the Opium fragrance featuring a naked Sophie Dahl, reclining legs akimbo. It received 730 complaints from the public and was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

However, the ad for M7 is only scheduled to appear in a few fashion magazines next week, including the French edition of Vogue.

Ford has said that the campaign is an homage to the famous 1971 photograph of French designer Yves Saint Laurent, where he reclines in the nude -- although that picture is a little more modest in displaying his wares.

A toned-down version of the ad featuring de Cubber will be offered to mainstream media, but previews of the racier version of the ad are already causing a stir in Paris, and on the internet where word of the campaign has spread.

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