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TOP 9: BANNED COMMERCIALS of 2011

Last updated on: December 27, 2011 12:22 IST

TOP 9: BANNED COMMERCIALS of 2011

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Check out the ads that were banned this year for a variety of reasons.

Recently, a CoverGirl Cosmetics advertisement featuring Taylor Swift had to be pulled back in the US over complaints that her shot was digitally enhanced.

We list out similar advertisements that ran into trouble.


First up is an ad for Lynx deodorants that stars Lucy Pinder, a UK pinup star.

The ad has Pinder in a bikini with a tagline that goes 'Can she make you lose control?'

Other tag lines range from thinly veiled innuendoes (What makes you prematurely perspire?) to downright direct (How long can you last?).

The advertisement was banned by Britain's Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA because they were 'clearly intended to imply that using the advertised product would lead to more uninhibited sexual behaviour'.



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Interestingly the television commercial for Lynx deodorant that is known as Axe in some parts of the world including India was banned in South Africa for offending Christian sensibilities.

The advertisement -- that has been running in India too -- features scantily clad 'angels' falling from the sky and being attracted to a regular Joe. As they sniff the air around him, they smash away their halos.

A voice-over follows: 'Excite, the new fragrance from Axe. Even angels will fall'.

The Telegraph reports that South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) acted upon a complaint of a man who was offended by the suggestions that messengers of God would in fact fall for a mortal being because of the deodorant he was using.

The ASA ordered Unilever to withdraw the advertisement saying, "This is something that would likely offend Christians in the same manner as it offended the complainant."


Image: on Rediff iShare: Axe/Lynx deodorant's advertisement that was banned


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Another advertisement that ran into serious trouble was the recent Levi's ad with the tagline Go Forth.

Among the many montages of young people one includes a young man walking up to riot police seemingly up for a fight.

The riot scene are supposed to represent the May Day riots in Berlin as a Bob Dylannish voice reads out Charles Bukowski's poem The Laughing Heart.

At any other time, we suppose the advertisement would've been well appreciated as it was in most parts of the world including India.

However the ad that was launched on Facebook in August and was due to be aired in cinema halls and on television had to be withdrawn in the UK as the image seemed to glorify the public disorder that the country had just seen then.

The advertisement ran in other countries across the world.

Click here to know more about the commercial.


Image: on Rediff iShare: Levi's Go Forth

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Then there was this advertisement featuring teenage actress Hailee Steinfeld sitting on a railway track seemingly wiping away tears that was deemed as being irresponsible since it showed a young person in an unsafe location.

The advertisement was for Miu Miu a high fashion brand from Prada and was shot by renowned American fashion photographer Bruce Weber.

Prada suggested that the particular shot was 'part of a serious, high-fashion campaign... based on the set of an imaginary film' and pointed out that Steinfeld 'could have easily moved from where she was sitting because she was not restrained in any way'.

However the ASA decided that the setting of the advertisement was potentially hazardous and 'irresponsible' considering the age of the model.


Image: Hailee Steinfeld for Miu Miu
Photographs: Courtesy Miu Miu

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Designer Marc Jacobs had to face the wrath of the ASA after he got the teenage actress Dakota Fanning to pose like an underage seductress in the latest campaign for Oh, Lola!

The advertisement featured the teenage Twilight star posing with a bottle of the perfume between her legs.

In a statement, the ASA said, "We noted that the model was holding up the perfume bottle which rested in her lap between her legs and we considered that its position was sexually provocative. We understood the model was 17 years old but we considered she looked under the age of 16. We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality. Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise a child."


Image: Oh, Lola! by Marc Jacobs


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The television advertisement of Yves Saint Laurent fragrance Belle d'Opium featuring features French actress Melanie Thierry was banned for being ' irresponsible and unacceptable for broadcast'' because Thierry's actions seemed to suggest drug use.

In the advertisement, Thierry dances to the beat of a drum and at one point, draws her finger her inner elbow as if replicating the act of injection.

The commercial ends with the actress saying, "I am your addiction, I am Belle d'Opium. The new fragrance by Yves St Laurent."

The ASA said that they 'considered the woman's actions simulated drug use, and therefore concluded it was irresponsible and unacceptable for broadcast'.


Image: on Rediff iShare: Melanie Thierry for Belle d'Opium by Yves Saint Laurent


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Drop Dead, a British clothing line came under fire for featuring an underweight model in a bikini.

In a statement that was carried on Huffington Post, the ASA said,

"In the bikini images her hip, rib and collar bones were highly visible. We also noted that in the bikini and denim shorts images, hollows in her thighs were noticeable and she had prominent thigh bones. We considered that in combination with the stretched out pose and heavy eye makeup, the model looked underweight in the pictures."


Image: Drop Dead


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Thanks to the complaints of Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, and the ASA upholding them, cosmetics giant L'Oreal was forced to pull ad campaigns that featured Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington.

Swinson complained that the images were overly airbrushed and the ASA agreed saying that the ads -- Roberts featuring in Lancome's foundation called Teint Miracle and Turlington in Maybelline's foundation The Eraser -- were in fact misleading.


Image: Julia Roberts for Lancome and Christy Turlington for Maybelline


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America's National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Claims adjudged the ads for CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara as being dishonest as the company couldn't substantiate 'superior performance claims' such as '2X more volume' and '20 percent lighter'.

The ads featuring Taylor Swift had to be discontinued by the company after readers complained the image of Swift had been digitally altered.

"The advertising at issue featured a celebrity looking up to highlight her long eyelashes. Beneath was the disclaimer, 'lashes enhanced in post-production'," Contactmusic quoted NAD chiefs as writing in a statement. "Upon receipt of NAD's initial inquiry, the advertiser advised NAD it had permanently discontinued all of the challenged claims and the photograph in the advertisement," the statement read.

Inputs from ANI


Image: Taylor Swift for CoverGirl


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