Armani clothes advert 'sexualised children'

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The Independent Online

An advert for designer fashion brand Armani was criticised yesterday for "sexualising children".

An advert for designer fashion brand Armani was criticised yesterday for "sexualising children".

The advertisement featured a photograph of a seated long-haired boy wearingbaggy jeans and a necklace. The image, to promote Armani's Junior range of children's clothes, sparked 74 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it appeared in a magazine. Some described it as offensive because it sexualised children and encouraged them to emulate adults. Others said it exploited the child, or that it could encourage paedophiles.

Orthet, which holds the UK licence for Armani Junior , did not comment to the ASA on the complaints but agreed to withdraw the advert andnot to use it again. The Times told the watchdog it had received 10 complaints after the advert appeared in its magazine.

The ASA said the picture made the model's gender ambiguous and drew attention to the child's sexuality.

It concluded that because the advert sexualised the child it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. It welcomed the decision to withdraw it, but suggested Orthet seek advice before advertising again.

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