Saint Laurent is the latest high fashion brand to have one of its campaigns fall victim to the censorship powers-that-be. One of the images from its Spring 2015 campaign was banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for its depiction of an extremely thin teenage model, splayed out on the floor. An ELLE UK reader alerted the ASA to the ad, saying that Kiki Willems, the Dutch model in question who has appeared on the Saint Laurent catwalk, was way too svelte and the campaign was promoting a dangerous body image.
Upon reviewing the campaign, the ASA found the reader’s complaint valid. “The model’s pose and the particular lighting effect in the ad drew particular focus to the model’s chest, where her rib cage was visible and appeared prominent, and to her legs, where her thighs and knees appeared a similar width, and which looked very thin, particularly in light of her positioning and the contrast between the narrowness of her legs and her platform shoes,” the ASA ruled.
This isn’t the first time Saint Laurent ads have come under ASA scrutiny. Its 2011 Belle D’Opium TV spot was banned for “simulated drug use.” Saint Laurent is one name in a long list of fashion houses whose campaigns have been censored by the ASA, including Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Christian Dior.