Is This Banned Calvin Klein Ad Suggestive of Rape?

Calvin Klein AdYou won't see this Calvin Klein ad, featuring supermodel Lara Stone, in Australia anymore. It's been banned there by the country's Advertising Standards Bureau, after women's groups across the country complained that it was demeaning to women.

Do you think the ad takes things too far?


Personally, I don't see the point of ads like this one.

While I realize its intent is to provoke controversy and get people talking about the brand, it does nothing to sell the clothing that's supposedly being advertised -- and I'll admit this particular image has a hardcore porn-like quality that's disturbing.

In addition, Calvin Klein is trying to appeal to the wrong market with ads like this one -- its clothing is simple and elegant, far more Jennifer Aniston than Kim Kardashian -- yet this kind of ad seems targeted toward the Kardashian crowd.

Regarding the banned advertisement, a Bureau spokesman was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying:

The Board considered that whilst the act depicted could be consensual, the overall impact and most likely impression is that the scene is suggestive of violence and rape. The Board considered that the image was demeaning to women by suggesting that she is a plaything of these men.It also demeans men by implying sexualised violence against women.

Fashion advertising has long veered toward the risque, but I agree this particular ad takes things a bit too far. What I really have a problem with is that the ad was apparently placed on billboards across Australia before being taken down. This is certainly not something I'd want my children to see.

What do you think of this ad? How would you feel about seeing it on a billboard here in the States?


Image via Calvin Klein

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