Banned: Mia Goth in the latest ad for Miu Miu.
Banned: Mia Goth in the latest ad for Miu Miu.

Miu Miu defends ad banned for 'sexualising' young-looking model

ASA described the campaign featuring model Mia Goth  “irresponsible and offensive”, but the Italian brand denies the sexual note on it

Linda Sharkey
Thursday 07 May 2015 17:22
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New ad campaign for fashion label Miu Miu has been banned by watchdog for appearing to sexualise child, but the luxury Italian brand denies any sexual tone on it.

The campaign features 22-year-old British model and actress Mia Goth (who’s also dating actor Shia LeBeouf) reclining on a bed covered with crisp white sheets, wearing “a sophisticated outfit, without a low neck-line, and nude makeup” in a photo that appears to be shot through a door left ajar.

The advertising Standards Authority (ASA), however, thought that “the model had a youthful appearance, was wearing very minimal make-up and clothes that appeared to be slightly too large”.

“We considered those elements contributed to the impression that she was younger than 16 years of age,” ASA said.

Prada, the owner of the diffusion line Miu Miu, denied showing the model in a “suggestive pose or that there was a sexual tone” on its spring/summer 2015 campaign, explaining that the image was part of the luxury label’s latest campaign, which is a cinematic tableaux featuring three models/actresses, including Imogen Poot and Marine Vacth – all shot by legendary photographer Steven Meisel.

Despite this, the watchdog has banned Prada from using the image again, describing it “irresponsible and offensive” because they appeared to “sexualise” a girl who looked underage.

“She was posed reclining on a bed, looking up directly to the camera through a partially opened door, which gave her an air of vulnerability and the image a voyeuristic feel,” ASA added.

“The ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious offence.”

The ad appears on the pages of Vogue UK, which also defended the ad saying that the glossy magazine is “sophisticated and their readers were educated to appreciate top photography and great fashion models”. The publication confirmed they haven’t received any complaints from readers.

Also the featured model, Goth, has appeared on numerous campaigns and publications, including the cover for Vogue Italia's March 2015 issue. Her acting jobs include Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, The Survialist and Magpie.

This is not the first time that ASA has banned a fashion advert for “sexualising children”. Earlier this year it also banned American Apparel’s ad featuring a young-looking model in a thong bodysuit and last year same brand got an ad banned for “sexualising schoolgirls” in images showing a girl leaning over to show her crotch and underwear to promote the schoolwear campaign.

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