Prada is the latest firm to come under fire for its use of child models just weeks after the Marc Jacobs Oh Lola! advert was banned for sexualising 16 year old Dakota Fanning. The latest Miu Miu campaign which features Oscar nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld has been deemed ‘irresponsible’ because it apparently suggests teen suicide.
In recent student fashion news, Young Academic gave the announcement that Marc Jacobs perfume campaign had been banned. The advertisement showed Dakota Fanning holding an oversized perfume bottle between her legs. After a series of complaints, the advert was banned for sexualising a child and was added to the library of controversy in the fashion industry.
This week, the ASA strikes again and bans yet another advertising campaign featuring a child star, this time in conjunction with fashion giant, Prada. The press advert for the Prada-owned luxury brand, Mui Mui, shows Hailee Steinfield seemingly crying on railway tracks.
The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint that the advert was ‘irresponsible’ and was suggestive of youth suicide as the 14 year old actress was sitting on an open railway track. The advertising watchdog has rejected the concern over suicide but has banned the advert because it showed a child in an unsafe location.
Prada defended the advert by commenting, and rightly so, that it was ‘serious, high-fashion campaign aimed at adult women’ and would feature only in high fashion magazines for adults such as Tatler.
Hailee Steinfeld starred in a remake of the Western classic True Grit where she attained instant fame for her role. She received an Oscar nomination for the role and since has gone into fashion campaigns.
The latest Miu Miu advertising campaign was supposed to portray the actress in between takes of the film as she waited for the next scene to begin. Prada also rejected the claim that she was crying commenting that she had not been asked to look upset but instead was pulling a ‘wistful and thoughtful’ face.
Despite the fact that the advert was clearly advertising items in the latest collection from Prada, Steinfeld was not in danger because the pictures, taken by top photographer Bruce Weber, were taken on an abandoned railway track.
The ASA said however ‘because the ad showed Hailee Steinfeld, who was 14 years of age only when the photo was shot, in a potentially hazardous situation sitting on a railway track, we concluded the ad was irresponsible and in breach of the Code in showing a child in a hazardous or dangerous situation. The ad must not appear again in its current form.’
The latest in a long line criticisms this year, it seems that the general public, or the few who have complained, do not like the use of child models, even if they are stars because it sets a bad example for youngsters.
What the public seem to be forgetting is that the advert is for a high fashion campaign which will feature in the corresponding magazines and is not about to be featured on billboards across the country.
It seems in a world where models are deemed too thin and celebrities are criticised for their behaviour, there is no room for child models and their striking poses, no matter how inoffensive they are.
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