Friday, October 29, 2010

Calvin Klein's raciest ad yet ires Aussies.

The other night at Marianne Williamson's weekly lecture (yes, this cynical atheist went to hear a woman who talks about miracles and God speak--what of it??), Williamson took time to bring attention to the above billboard--the raciest ad yet from a brand that has built its name on racy ads. Calvin Klein has long sold everything from jeans to perfume to tighty whities with the attitude that sex sells. And sell, despite many controversies over the year, it has. The controversy has even become a marketing tool in itself--recently played up by the brand with a billboard on Sunset Blvd. that showed nothing but a scannable code, through which the user could see the ad's naughty bits from home--implying that the image was too risque even for the Sunset Strip.

Which brings us to the recent hype about this now-censored billboard in Australia--the nation (slash continent)'s Advertising Standards Bureau has decided that model Lara Stone looks like she may be getting raped by three handsome, if expressionless young men and has demanded the billboard come down.

Do I buy it? No, not so much. To me, it looks like her blank stare matches the gentelmen's perfectly and they're all tangled up in a consensual orgy of equal disinterest.

Perhaps, however, I'm being callous and insensitive and should be more of a stodgy feminist about all this.

What are your thoughts?

[via AOL News via Marianne Williamson]


Amber Avines said...

Jessie: Interesting post. I have to agree. Rape would have never crossed my mind. Just seems like a group sex scene and, as you say, Calvin Klein has long claimed the market on racy ads.

I can't help but to think of the ads featuring a 16 year old Brooke Shields and how they created an uproar that had many people screaming child pornography. As more brands push the envelope on advertising, I think it gets harder and harder to shock people. And, of course, in LA, our barometer is much more liberal than in places like the Midwest.

Thanks for the interesting piece, JBR.

Anonymous said...

I instantly thought that the women in the ad looks like she is being gang-raped, long before I even read your article against the idea & I have to think that even if it is supposed to depict an orgy, where does Calvin Klein get the right to but up billboards of such grotesque depictions??
In my opinion this ad is absolutely disgusting and I completely agree that it should be taken done.