Britain Bans Dakota Fanning's Marc Jacobs Fragrance Ad

Dakota Fanning banned Oh Lola! ad

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned an advertisement from Marc Jacobs for his Oh Lola! perfume.  Though Dakota Fanning is 17 years old, the ASA asserts that the ad makes her look younger than 16, qualifying her as a child.  And thus they take issue with the alleged lascivious placement of the fragrance bottle she holds in the image.

The ASA also pulled L’Oréal ads over the summer.  That campaign, which featured Christy Turlington modeling an anti-aging product, was deemed overly re-touched and therefore grossly exaggerating how much the beauty product could actually accomplish.

The moral of the story, it seems, is that models in Britain better look (at least somewhat) their age.  With ads whose subjects are digitally altered beyond reality, sure, we agree that misleads customers. But what do you think about Fanning’s image?  Does Marc Jacob’s Oh Lola! ad overly sexualize a minor, or is it just fashion?

74 Responses to “Britain Bans Dakota Fanning's Marc Jacobs Fragrance Ad”

  1. sam

    She is one Excellent actress and She is old enough to do what she wants to,People need to mind their own Business ,she is not a Child,and she has more money than most of these experts too….

  2. Blaatman

    It all works out for the best. The controversy over the ban in the UK will generate greater business elsewhere. It is a calculated trade off.

  3. Debi K Baughman

    I am just glad to see that there are still companies in this world who are this concerned for the image of our children. It takes only one ad over the top for a name to make the person how others will see her in the future. Although the ad is not explicit in any way, i noticed the placement right off….and i agree that it is beautiful but age matters. Thank you for looking after our beautiful Dakotas image and future. She IS still a minor. Help her hold on to her youth for as long as she can. It does not last forever!

  4. Miron

    Does Marc Jacob’s Oh Lola! ad overly sexualize a minor, or is it just fashion?


    looks ok for cheap Somalia brothel. Is it ok to ask this girl to earn living by doing honest work?

  5. Arlene Kelly

    Britain is right on this one…This is a very suggestive ad and At Seventeen, she IS underage, at least in her home county of the Us.

    This looks like a siren call to pedophiles..Yuck.

  6. tigerlily

    Yet, it would be too provocative or sexy if it were “your child”. If they are not over eighteen, money or not, model or not, it is not appropriate. Just because they are a “model” or as one stated, “they have more money” (moron), they should be allowed to do an ad such as this? People wonder why children are targets by perverts in the world and then allow them to be seen as sexual objects in provocative photos? Morons…

  7. Alena

    I say her age has nothing to do with the ad. People can’t go public and do anything they set their minds do, without considering how it affects the general public. They are accountible to others. Young children see ads. Where is the sense of respect for those that could be affected by something so suggestive? Have some decency. The ad is not decent. I say BAN IT everywhere and stop trying to use sex to sell things. How exploitive is that? Women need to have some respect and decency themselves, by not prostituing themselves for money.

  8. Ann Marie

    to Sam: IT IS OUR BUSINESS! it’s in the public eye…duh read what Alena says, maybe give you some perspective. Good grief

  9. jrm

    I am as liberal as you can get, but this shocked me. Men have gone to jail just for possessing child pornography, and perhaps rightly so, but this photo WAS INTENDED to be sexual and provocative. It intentionally made her look 12 or 13. The skimpy dress, pulled up to show lots of leg, and the clincher, the shape and color of the “vase” (read dildo) was intended to look phallic. This would be objectionable with a legal age model. Dakota is not legal age. I think the magazine should ashamed and apologize.

  10. Andrea

    Yuck. She looks like a little girl dressed up as a doll…and YES, the placement of the bottle and the way she is holding it is suggestive. The ad is like a pedophile’s “come hither” fantasy. Good call banning it.

  11. clark

    Dakota has always been a good role model for young girls but this ad is changing the perception. Sorry, she feels she needs/wants to go this route. Money and celebrity seem to be taking over. Dakota look at the ad again, don’t you feel used? I am very surprised her parents let this happen. Only answer,greed.

  12. eatsfliesdatesapig

    They should have pulled it instead because she is singularly unattractive in the ad.

  13. rjheckma

    Looks like an invitation to a teen brothel. Not appropriate. Sexualizing our youth is not appropriate. The decision on this add was appropriate.

  14. Dylan

    Just thought I should point out… The age of adulthood has absolutely no meaning here… The ad was banned because it makes her look younger than the majority age of sexual consent, which is 16 in over half of the United States(notice how they said the ad was banned because it made her LOOK younger than 16?) and since shes 17, she is legally allowed to have sex with whoever she wants in about 85% of the USA and ALL OF THE UK (the age of consent in the UK is 17)
    DO NOT CONFUSE the age of adulthood and the age of sexual consent as they are completely different(in most places)
    So to everyone who said “shes a minor” etc… you need to come up with a different argument because that isnt the issue here.
    As to whether it’s appropriate or not, I have to say it is incredibly tame compared to most ads I’ve seen… hell does anyone read rolling stone magazine? ill give you 50 bucks if you can find a perfume ad that doesnt have a naked girl in it/or a topless guy in ANY recent issue… I mean come on, shes fully clothed, the dress isnt even provocative in any way (no cleavage showing etc)and literally the only “suggestive” thing in the picture is the placement of the bottle… and to that end, the bottle is shaped like a flower and the only thing its seems to suggest is that Dakota Fanning is still a Virgin (laughter)
    Personally I think everyone is getting worked up for the wrong reasons and I think the ASA nailed the only thing wrong with this picture on the head – which is, she looks younger than 16 and it makes this picture a pedophiles dream.

  15. Bob

    Well, she will just have to be patient for a couple more years til she’s 18 then she’ll be able to slut herself around in public and be raped by the advertisement industry all she wants without anyone caring. Just like Lindsey, Paris, Demi….wow, this list is too large to fit in here. =D

  16. Frank

    Under the age of 18 (United States) Ms. Fanning is a child. And, whatever the law is in other countries one must respect and adhear to that law. How much money someone make, regardless of his/her age has nothing to do with the law. As far as 17 looking like 16, wow what a stretch. One year. When she is 18 hear and definately 21 all around the world, it’ll be a different story.

  17. The Doctor

    Someone (in fact, many someones) should learn the differences between pedophilia, hebephilia and ephebophilia.

    That distinction aside, this ad is ill-conceived, poorly executed, and exhibits all the artistic merit of a crime scene photograph. However, banning it only serves to draw attention — witnesseth the fact that the ad is now more recognisable than the product.

  18. johanna

    Well personaly i dont find anything wrong with the pick……..hell she has done far worse in a movie then sit there and look like a teenage girl holding a fn bottle on her lap……really take a look at the disney channel where all the lil girls look like they are 30 year old call girls…….now thats something to worry about

  19. Timbo

    Is this another example of Brooke Shields style parental exploitation? (Albeit a lite version) After all, she’s appeared in a number of things that seem to be increasing in salaciousness. This 17 year old should be learning how to keep her boyfriends’ hands to himself, not dishing her wares to the public at large.

  20. tisheena

    OMG! I’ve seen alot worse. The picture is fine to me. Its getting more publicity by banning the photo. How can this young lady transition into adulthood if she is always viewed as a child. Put the bottle on the side of her with a hello kitty book bag, yeah that’ll be better. Come on get a grip people!

  21. Susan

    When I looked at the picture, I was honestly puzzled at what the fuss was about, until someone mentioned the placement of the vase. To me that says that people who want to see dirt everywhere will see dirt everywhere. Also, to me she looks older than her age, not younger. (My guess would have been about 22.) Much ado about nothing IMO.

  22. Beth

    The bottle is in her lap. It’s not like her legs are splayed open. People are such babies. Always have to have something to complain about.

  23. Joy

    More like the sexualization of anorexia. Part of a long-standing anorexia-pedophilia trend.

  24. Dan

    This looks like a feminine deodorant spray ad to me. Just a really bad idea all around. Perhaps some very naive women can view this without seeing the overtly sexual intent, but the rest of us see very clearly. However, in the cesspool of images that our modern society is forced to wade threw every day, this is almost tame. Looks like Dakota is looking to shed her endearing image and land more R-rated roles, que sera sera.

  25. James

    its not sexual at all, but i wonder if the bottle of perfume is actually that big? Then you can say false advertisement lol.

  26. Deb

    THis is indeed a pedophiles dream shot. It is an inappropriate picture, no matter who the model is, as the bottle looks like it is being used as a dildo. Poor taste on the part of the photographer and the ad agency that approved the photo.

  27. dudleydoright

    To answer your question directly, yes it is sexual. Does she look like a minor child? What does a “minor child” look like these days? Take a trip to your local mall on any given Saturday and you will be surrounded by ads, mannequins, posters, etc. sexualizing teenage girls.

    Watch VH1 for ten minutes, Thank Bill Clinton for redefining sex, we are surrounded by it. Britain can try and sensor it all they want but it will just backfire as a previous poster pointed out. The pic will be available everywhere. They get tons of free publicity.

    As for the placement of the bottle, yes it’s pretty blatant and I don’t personally find it “fashionable” or very creative at all. Whoever came up with that idea should seek another line of work. Seriously “OK Dakota, just sit there on your butt, lean back and hold yourself up with your arm, now stick the perfume bottle in your crotch”. I”m sure she got paid plenty, I’m also sure it’s probably not one of her favorite photos. MEH!

  28. Brian

    Technically, it is a low quality photo. It is also very weak artistically. When compared to what is being shown in this and other contexts, it is quite tame. Almost everything on the so called “family” network FOX, there are shows obviously targeted to children and teens that contain numerous adult themes, inuendo and visual elements that are far more inappropriate than this photo. Those of you being critical of this are probably allowing your young ones watch worse things on TV.

  29. SpyderZ

    I don’t understand one aspect of the ban. The claim that the ad is attempting to make her look younger. Dakota looks like she does because she is somewhat a petite size, but that is how she looks. I think she is cute but I don’t see where all the controvery comes from.

  30. NB

    I think it looks like a flower… the flower is placed in an inappropriate place to begin with. This is certainly a call to the pedophiles out there, and there are a lot. She does look too young but she can’t help that, unless the pic was really altered. Anyhow, she’s going to make her money without the input of us. Good job Britain for censoring our children!! Kudos!!

  31. Joanna Dyer

    Dakota is a lovely young woman and has been, from the start, a glorious Actrees. That said, I am disappointed that she chose to do this sleaze disguising itself as high fashion route. I would hope that she looks at the ad, sees it for what it is and decides not to do another like it.

  32. annie

    Dakota Fanning should sack her manager and agent NOW. This is the race to the bottom along with Ms L Lohan.
    I admired Dakota’s pluck in Runaways, tho she seemed unable to really ‘get’ the final burn out of the character. If she wants to be taken seriously as an actor then this ad she really, really doesn’t need.
    And the fact that she has been a role model for so many young girls just shows how mindless these PR people are. Sure. Junk all that fan base. Good idea! Well done.
    Marc Jacobs is now on my (very short) total boycott list. And I shop for teenage girls.

  33. dimmer

    Per Deb: “THis is indeed a pedophiles dream shot.”
    Really? And you’d know this how, exactly? I guess just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too is child porn in the eye of the pedophile.

    Per Susan: “people who want to see dirt everywhere will see dirt everywhere”
    Great comment, so very true. It’s also interesting to see how many people came here to comment on a link that promised underage titillation — so they took a look and were “horrified” and had to salve their licentiousness by leaving “Oh my golly gosh!” type nonsense. Too many people seeing the mote, ignoring the plank.

    And to the commenter who suggested that in other countries US laws still apply? Nonsense! When you are in another country you are obliged and required to follow the laws of THAT country. If you want to test your hypothesis, take a motoring holiday in the UK.

  34. Ad Critiquester

    She does look young, like ~12-14 (admittedly she is nonetheless blessed with hotness…although any actual sex appeal in this ad is totally eclipsed by ridiculousness). But seriously, it doesn’t seem to me like a big enough deal to ban it. If you start banning ads for being obnoxiously oversexualized, you’ll find yourself with a lot of censorship work to do! Surely government bureaucrats have more important things to spend their time (and our taxes) on.

    And seriously, I’ve seen a lot of “naughtier” ads (not to mention a lot of TV shows, websites, etc., including plenty that are targeted at kids). Even if I were an overzealous government censor, the most I’d do with this one would be recommend to advertisers (with appropriate sternness, of course) that they not place this ad anywhere it is likely to be seen by children.

    (Privately I’d still probably be sniggering. This ad is a bad joke, not hardcore porn or even the sexy photo they obviously intended it to be — the incredibly corny, blatantly phallic product placement
    makes it more of a laugh piece than masturbation material.)

    As for this business about exploitation…I was 17 not all *that* long ago [insert "back in my day...." story here], but perhaps others need reminding: teenage males are not the only ones with sex on the brain. Nature has blessed Miss Fanning with a sexy body and I have no doubt she gets a certain satisfaction from showing it off.

  35. joey party

    i dont care what anyone says, she is 17 years old, just because she “Looks” like a child does not legally make her a child. the law is not about say so and spoken rules, you all live in a fantasy world where its all sunshine and butterflies, but in reality people die every day in the real world, some die horrifically, and we are blessed to have this angel in our world, whether she chooses to be wearing a princess dress or plastic panties, she is old enough to live her own life if she wanted to, old enough to drive, old enough to get killed by a drunk old man on the highway, so let her live her life, you are all just jealous because youre ugly.

  36. thussaiththewalrus

    Dakota Fanning has now entered slutville (allowing anyone to do anything to her for cash)! I am SOOOO disappointed in her! Of course, hoping for even the pretense of decency from a “star” is an exercise in futility; why did I ever think she would be different, or that she would know where to draw the line? If someone had told me to pose with an enormous (and strange shaped) perfume bottle between my legs, I would have known it was not right! WHY does Dakota not know? Is she particularly dim-witted? Or lacking in morals? I guess so! I no longer have any interest in her.

  37. JewlzCain

    To me its a simple picture. When someone sits down and holds & item in there hand (whatever it may be) they plop it in their lap. One might wonder why someones mind would immediately jump to sex, (Thats a bit more concerning to me than the photo.) If she were holding an iPad in the same spot or a high heel shoe would it still be “improper”? Lets not let our imaginations run to wild.

  38. JewlzCain

    To me it’s a simple picture. When someone sits down & holds an item in their hand (whatever it may be) they plop it in their lap. One might wonder why someones mind would immediately jump to sex, (Thats a bit more concerning to me than the photo.) If she were holding an iPad in the same spot or a high heel shoe would it still be “improper”? Lets not let our imaginations run to wild

  39. Mark Rutherford

    The whole banned ad thing is getting out of hand especially in the UK. Blatantly misleading ads are unacceptable and should be subject to suit by any victims. Products relating to health care should and are regulated.
    But controlling ad aesthetics by censorship is the Thought Police at their worst.

  40. JewlzCain

    Lets arrest every Victoria Secret model & Calvin Klein underwear model for standing there & being pretty (because they had the choice to be ugly.) Let us then ban the ads for any female 2 piece bathing suit & any male in shorts without a shirt(because they show to much skin.) Then we should ban all Viagra & vaginal cream commercials (because its impolite to speak of the sex organs openly.) We should then stop making anatomically correct mannequins (because who’s to say what the proper waist & breast size should be.) To be human is to be ambiguous. Accept that & live happily.

  41. Charles Martel

    Sex sells, and pre-teen girls sell. As long as those facts are both simultaneously true than we’re going to keep getting ads like this, for better or for worse. I don’t see what the problem is. Teens like to have sex. Why should she be made to repress that? I think people are to uncomfortable with their sexuality. I can see how that is objectifying, but lets face it… She’d be a sex object eventually no matter what laws we put in place.

  42. Ryan

    Ummm, to everyone saying it’s not sexual and she’s just holding it in her lap casually:

    Please familiarize yourself with the work of Jurgen Teller (the photographer who shot this). Almost all his published work is an exploration of sexual themes. While I do not like his work, I do have some respect what he does. He is known for rejecting the formalism of commercial photography and uses what looks to me to be the visual language of amateur porn. Rejection of formal technique happens throughout the history of art, so in that way it’s nothing new. And that hack Terry Richardson, just copied Teller and as so much less substance.

  43. John Boston

    Uh, who cares? This is such a non-story. There is absolutely nothing risque about these shots. If anything, the heavy-handed messaging is funny. Maybe folks should concentrate on actual issues and stop finding smut in every nook and cranny?

  44. Ray West

    The ad is overtly sexual, and therefore highly inappropriate for a 17-year old to be posing in it. It is no different than the provocative and also inappropriate pose that Miley Cyrus previously did. I’m just sick and tired of sex being pushed into every aspect of our lives to sell products, and it’s becoming sleazier and sluttier with younger and younger models and actresses.

  45. Observant

    Yet no one here in America seems to bat an eyelash at this same 17-year-old being on the cover of this month’s Cosmo. WTH.

  46. blah

    Curious, how can this be sexualizing a minor, when in britain she ISNT a minor. She is 17 and apparently age of consent is 16. So what is the story here?

  47. Cyrus Boone

    Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. The same applies to perceptions of sexuality. A photo of a young woman holding a bottle in her lap is not innately sexual in nature. The bottle isn’t even remotely phallic. Even if you were to hang a judgement on the visual metaphor of a blooming flower near her crotch (a bit of a stretch, really) even that is a much stronger statement about feminine identity than it is about anything lascivious or inappropriate.

    At the end of the day, if you see something inappropriately sexual in this image, I strongly suspect it’s because you *want* to see something inappropriately sexual. If that notion disturbs you, you may need to re-evaluate your own thoughts, opinions and beliefs regarding sex. Then adjust your own life accordingly. Don’t blame the image for the issues that exist in your own mind.

  48. Glenn Koons, LB, Ca.

    ACtually I have always liked Dak’s acting and this ad just cheapens her. Europeans love porn, soft or not. America is being flooded with it and kids, especially younger ones are just being exploited by lewd money-grubbers. It used to be called SIN but in our PC world, it is TOLERANCE. YIkes.

  49. jo g

    I think that she looks like a made-up 14-yr old in this ad. The placement of the bottle is terrible. It’s a disgusting ad for any age and much worse on a girl who looks 14 here.

  50. Dirk

    This ad is definitely sexual. The dress, the pose, the trying to look blank stare like it’s saying – Why would you have a problem with me in this ad? It doesn’t stir anything in me, but I can see why Britain would ban it being as stuck up as they are. :-)

  51. NicNac13c

    All I know is that’s an ugly picture. It’s blurry, the light makes her look faded out and distorted, her hair is a stringy mess and she looks like she’s on drugs. I can’t believe a professional photographer(and probably a high-end fashion photographer)took that photo. It’s terrible. Why do they insist on making beautiful people look hideous and putting ugly photographs in fashion ads?

  52. carlo1

    Good for the Brits. Unlike the ad and some of the responses, they show something sadly lacking in our society….CLASS.

  53. Disgusted

    To all that think there is nothing wrong with the picture first she is a minor in the US and we are always crying about men and women touching our children and using them as sexual objects yet Britain seems to be the only ones that care about the well being of our children. Second the placement of the perfume brings attention to her in a sexual way and we as a society justify it by putting it on the cover and having full page ads saturating all forms of visual media. Third for anyone who does not think this an inappropriate photo for a child to take (because no way around it she is a child) you need to make the first step to getting help by logging off now and go see a therapist because you are on your way to pedophilia.

  54. Gin

    I for one, am so done with advertisers choosing to show
    photographs of ‘crotch shots’ for women modeling almost
    any item of clothing …. trying to appeal to men I would guess, but so its demeaning and men aren’t the usual buyers of womens clothing. This ad of Fanning struck me right away as ‘look at my flowering vagina’ and don’t you want to buy me now – forget the perfume!

  55. BilliwBear

    Well, I personally love Marc Jacobs by Marc Jacobs perfume. Dakota Fanning has always looked younger than her age. Dakotas makeup, clothing and hair are all done in poor taste. As for the position of the perfume, uh,very bad choice! I don’t think this ad does Dakota Fanning and or Marc Jacobs justice! Someone in the advertising business is being overly paid. I don’t think of this ad as sexual. After reading what people are saying and going back and staring at it. It could of have been done in far better ways still using Dakota and the perfume. One thing I have to keep in mind. This was Britain. I’m sorry, Marc Jacobs and Dakota Fanning! This was a mistake. For the frighteningly freaky minds in the world today…it scares me. Not everyone has sick thoughts but my gosh, just take into consideration everything else I said. Dakota, her family, friends and Marc Jacobs? Was it the perfume, money, or prestige that got this ad this far?

  56. Aaron Allen

    I don’t have any problem for Dakota to appear in this advert: If
    she was looking out at the readers and smiling, wud it be better?
    Stateside, we have adopted printing models’ names in tiny print along the binding-side: This usually takes the edge off of such
    photos–especially if her profession [actress] is included…
    Aaron Allen…

  57. in the middle

    the funny thing is that it has been distributed far and wide as part of this article…so banning it had the opposite effect. Were it not for this article I would have NEVER seen this photo. She is a pretty little creature for sure.

  58. Jack Haas

    @Ryan who posted some drivel on January 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm:

    No, sorry, doofus, the picture should be judged on its own regardless of photographer, makeup artist, stylist, etc. Because what you have done with Jurgen Teller’s reputation is to stereotype all his work. Might as well call him a Nazi while you’re at it. Because are you telling me Teller is incapable of shooting a shot that meets some sort of subjective pass for sexuality? I think not. Speaking of the subjective, thank god, I don’t live in Great Britain. I had no idea when the Pilgrims left in the 1600s they had left any Puritans behind. Obviously, I couldn’t have been more wrong.


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