PARIS, France — 50 complains were lodged against new Saint Laurent Spring 2017 advertising campaign, people who saw the images as an “incitement to rape”
The poster campaign consists of one image showing a reclining woman in a fur coat and fishnet tights opening her legs to the camera, and another one of a model in a leotard and roller-skate stilettos bending over a stool. It has caused fury on social media, complainants saying the brand is degrading and humiliating representations of women.
The campaign was photographed by Inez and Vinoodh as part of Anthony Vaccarello’s first Saint Laurent collection.
“We asked the brand and the ad displayer to make changes to these visuals as soon as possible,” ARPP head Stephane Martin told Reuters. He also added “I am not sure that [Saint Laurent’s] female clients would like to be associated with these images,”, “we had a similar type of porno chic [in fashion advertising] a decade ago, and here we have it coming back again, which isn’t acceptable.”
It probably didn’t help that the ads appeared just before International Women’s Day. France’s leading women’s group, Oséz le Feminisme! (“Dare to be Feminist!”), called for the campaign to be pulled, saying this was not the first time Saint Laurent had crossed the line. It had previously raised hackles with another campaign that used “a very young hypersexualised woman”, its spokeswoman, Raphaëlle Rémy-Leleu, said.
She said this time the subtext was “extremely violent”. “It ticks all the sexist boxes. The women are objectified, hypersexualised and put in submissive positions,” she said.
Offended viewers took Twitter to voice their dislike for the ad, using the hashtag “#YSLRetireTaPubDegradante,” meaning, ‘#YSLTakeOffYourDegradingAd’.
— Le Grand Cirque (@Pariska17) 7 mars 2017
‘What have you done to Yves Saint Laurent?’
— isabellajump (@isabellajump) 4 mars 2017
‘”YSL in 1967 and now. All about anorexia, submission, and humiliation.”‘