Dolce & Gabbana Ad: Cartoonish Edginess or Gang Rape?

dg_girl_down.jpg

What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don't fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities? According to National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy who told BrandWeek, "It's a provocative ad but it is provoking things that really are not what we want to have provoked. We don't need any more violence," the answer is no. Her organization plans to protest the ad and has added to a section of its website that highlights ads it feels are offensive.

One could argue the ad certainly paints a questionable picture and perpetuates an activity that certainly does not need perpetuating. Others might argue the ad, and many other fashion ads, is so over-the-top cartoonish in its desire to be "edgy," that it's a harmless toss off passed over as one glosses through the fake world of fashion magazines. What do you think?

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Racy, Trends and Culture   

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.



Comments



Comments

first blush impressions are strong and often wrong... with NOW sneezing and coughing up the virus is well on its way.

Posted by: adgoose on February 20, 2007 12:41 PM

how can five gays and a girl be called a gang rape?

Posted by: jackson on February 20, 2007 2:44 PM

Crotch is the new boobs.

Posted by: dean on February 20, 2007 2:49 PM

There was also a D&G spread in W. I think it's an offensive concept and a lazy way to stand out and invoke noir in the least tastful, most un-creative way. D&G has managed to insult anyone with some knowledge of style and trends by passing these images off as high fashion. And they have probably added to the misconceptions of violence and inappropriate behavior of the small minded.

Posted by: Rebecca on February 20, 2007 2:52 PM

Insightfully put, Jackson:-)

Posted by: Steve Hall on February 20, 2007 3:25 PM

In a world where Chevy has to edit an ad where a robot thinks about suicide and a VW ad is pulled because a guy thinks about suicide, then this ad is obviously a horrid example and must be pulled immediately...

Posted by: Brad Waller on February 20, 2007 6:28 PM

People who have not been raped do not understand the depths of the horror. I myself have not, but have talked to people who have. Imagary such as this is inappropriate because it may call to mind someone's past and put them into a bad place mentally. It's awful. Certainly doesn't make me want to buy anything, and why is that always forgotten by these creative types?

Posted by: Rebekah on February 20, 2007 6:38 PM

A man is physically restraining a woman while other men watch.

The ad is clearly alluding to a rape. Even a child with no knowledge of sex would sense the menace in this scene.

What a stupid way to sell clothes.

Posted by: PZR on February 20, 2007 7:23 PM

Enough with the BS PC-ness already! Stop fanning the flames of puritanism. Plus, everyone knows D&G boys are gay.

Posted by: dave on February 20, 2007 10:21 PM

She must have put up a hell of a fight. Everyone is sweating like a pig. But then, as Queen Victoria once said... "If rape is inevitable. relax and enjoy it!"
Standing by for the hate mail.
Cheers/George

Posted by: George Parker on February 20, 2007 10:49 PM

Don't like it? Don't buy their shit.

Posted by: duh on February 20, 2007 11:47 PM

obviously d&g doesn't appeal to you guys. but you know, i bet if it was 5 girls and one guy, no one would say anything. i second duh... if you dont like it, dont buy their shirt.

Posted by: rocky on February 21, 2007 12:52 AM

have to agree with jackson and dave. never even occured to me that this could be depicting rape because the guys seem so obviously gay. the guys looking on seem mildly intrigued as if they are curious of their friend's attempts to appear hetero.

Posted by: t on February 21, 2007 11:13 AM

Being PC is a pathetic attempt to not offend. This ad is alluding to rape. Not offending women who have been raped is not PC. It's basic human compassion. This ad is ridiculous and is a pathetic attempt at being edgy. It's bad. It's gay. It's cruel. It's wrong. Pull it.

Posted by: Tammy Allen on February 21, 2007 12:02 PM

Being PC is a pathetic attempt to not offend. This ad is alluding to rape. Not offending women who have been raped is not PC. It's basic human compassion. This ad is ridiculous and is a pathetic attempt at being edgy. It's bad. It's gay. It's cruel. It's wrong. Pull it.

Posted by: Tammy Allen on February 21, 2007 12:04 PM

Just a note:

but you know, i bet if it was 5 girls and one guy, no one would say anything.

This is an assinine comment considering that rape is an event pretty much entirely experienced by women. That's like saying "if the seal was holding the hakapik, no one would complain."

Posted by: Eve on February 22, 2007 8:54 AM

Advertising has "sexed itself out" so much, that only the ugly side is left for "creative exploration." Beauty bores us, sentimentality is schmaltzy, sexy is stale. This is a lazy ad full of so much junk it thinks it's "edgy" rather than "stupid." What's the message? "d&g - be a better target for abuse"? "d&g - the mark of a good hooker"? "d&g - making not only heads turn, but gay boys too"? "d&g - prices that only a hard working hooker can pay for"? "d&g - we've already screwed you so we invited some friends"? Pull the ad. It's offensive on so many levels; notwithstanding the fact that industry idiots have been paid a lot of money to pass it off as a campaign, rather than just a revolting photograph.

Posted by: Wyhldher on February 22, 2007 9:57 AM

Eve, if the ad did feature five girls and one guy, we wouldn't be having this conversation. rocky isn't saying rape isn't a bad thing. he's just pointing out this ad gets people talking. An ad with five girls and one guy wouldn't.

Posted by: Steve Hall on February 22, 2007 10:55 AM

Steve...
If they were naked and carrying big whips, it might!
Cheers/George

Posted by: George Parker on February 22, 2007 11:52 AM

Thanks Steve for clarifying my thoughts. Sorry Eve- that was no way intentional to say rape was only experienced by women. But like Steve mentioned, had it been the other way around, no one would be talking about the ad in that case. Instead of women only caring about women's issues to make things equal, why not care about all issues to make things equal? Seems logical to me.

Posted by: rocky on February 22, 2007 12:17 PM

Hyundai has just been forced to ditch its humourous, "next generation" nappy-clad baby driving a Santa Fe, after the Advertising Standards Board received 80 complaints, primarily from (neurotic) parents concerned that it may "encourage copy-cat behaviour" (?!) The Board ruled that the ad depicted "under-age driving" (a two-year-old!) and "promoted unlawful behaviour" (the wearing of seatbelts, rather than child restraints). Clearly it is an entertaining and fanciful ad; the toddler drives to the beach with his tiny tot friend, and surfs; clever, funny, endearing, memorable. When something as harmless as THAT can be pulled, how on earth is D&G getting away with THIS?!

Posted by: Wyhldher on February 22, 2007 7:12 PM

My partner speculates that the gay men are holding her down to force her to tell them where she got those shoes.

Posted by: Tracey on February 24, 2007 9:53 AM

Have a look at this week's Rolling Stone for another atrocious D&G ad, this one featuring the same slimmed down troupe of gay guys getting ready to gang rape a man in some sort of chair/harness.

Posted by: Jetpacks on February 25, 2007 12:33 PM

On second look, the ad I mentioned above doesn't depict an impending rape. The guy in the chair is more than ready and waiting. It's his potential partners who look less than enthused.

Posted by: Jetpacks on February 25, 2007 12:42 PM

I find this ad offensive on so many levels - the obvious one being the gang-rape implication. What it directly implies, like so many ads these days is desperation - the complete lack of trust in advertising and the product to just sell on it's own merit, to the point that the ad is all that matters. Do you actually look at the clothes in this ad? Does it make you think "hmm, I think I'll buy one of their shirts now".?
No. And the argument "it brings public awareness to the brand" is totally besides the point of generating customers. It makes me aware that they make bad advertising and nothing else.

Posted by: Meinert Hansen on February 25, 2007 5:57 PM

Eve - You are a total sexist buffoon. Just because men 'generally' don't get raped doesn't mean it doesn't happen and it is any less horrific for the man if it does. It is a REALITY that people wouldn't care if it was 5 girls and a guy, because women took womens rights to the extreme and now we have total complete reverse sexism. It's ok for women, but not men.

Posted by: Dave on February 25, 2007 10:38 PM

If u people think that this is sooo inapropriote (which it is), then why not write them a letter? if a lot of people write them then they might change the disgusting ads.

Posted by: Blah on February 26, 2007 7:36 PM

ah, okay Blah - I think we get your point....

Posted by: Wyhldher on February 26, 2007 8:40 PM

Oh Christ, are JEAN/SHORTS BACK?

Posted by: James-h on February 27, 2007 12:15 AM

Are You Guys Even Interested In Fashion? Or Are You Against Fashion And Just Wanting A Good Old Moan? I Work In The Fashion Industry, I Looked At The Imagery For This Collection, And Not Once Did I Find This Image Offensive!!

And Its Got Everyone Doing, What They Want You To Be Doing, Talking About It, And Giving Them More Exposure!

Stop Looking At Things In So Much Depth! Its Just Advertising!

Posted by: em on March 2, 2007 6:39 PM

Exact, March. You work in the fashion industry which is a fairy tale world that bears absolutely no resemblance to the real world the rest of us live in. No wonder you saw nothing wrong with the ad. Something wrong with the shift key on your computer?

Posted by: Steve Hall on March 2, 2007 11:21 PM

Steve...
He's making a "statement!" Anyway... Fuck the fashion, I still want to know about the oil... Actually, I'm fed up with this thread... Why don't we pull the plug on it?
Cheers/George

Posted by: George Parker on March 2, 2007 11:41 PM

...whhoo...hot...getting a boner.

Posted by: dick cheny on March 16, 2007 1:12 PM

Gang rape? She doesn't exactly look like she's saying "No". If this was a Madonna video, it would make more sense, but people need to stop inferring so much from these things. Wait, was that the Virgin Mary in that dudes abs?

Posted by: Ernie McCracken on March 16, 2007 1:43 PM

Gang rape? She doesn't exactly look like she's saying "No". If this was a Madonna video, it would make more sense, but people need to stop inferring so much from these things. Wait, was that the Virgin Mary in that dude's abs?

Posted by: Ernie McCracken on March 16, 2007 1:44 PM

Em, What A Typical Comment From A Fashmoron. Obsession With Clothes Maketh The Maniac. Of Course You Don't Find This Ad Offensive: The Two Brain Cells You Have Are Working Overtime Trying To Figure Out What Capital Letters Are For And Where The Hell Full Stops Should Go... I can't keep this up... it offends my sensibilities trying to "think" like you so that you may understand this communication. Suggest you stay firmly within your forte: deciding what the colour black is called, and how long to wait between chewing, swallowing, and sticking two fingers down your throat.

Posted by: Wyhldher on March 17, 2007 11:01 PM

Show the gay guys having an insinuated broom rape by some neonazi cop and see everyone who cannot see any problem with this particular thing get all upset. Insinuated rape is stupid and wrong, no matter what you claim for sexual preference.

Posted by: iconoclast on March 18, 2007 1:14 AM

First of all?.George Parker you are a sick twisted son of a bitch?.if you were getting gang raped I bet you wouldn?t ?relax and enjoy it!? Next time you want to make such a stupid comment then I want you to imaging if your mother or daughter were getting gang raped and tell her to ?relax and enjoy it!? Second, Rocky and Dave there are many people that would find the ad equally offensive if it were 5 girls and 1 man. It is NOT a REALITY Dave that people wouldn?t care and it?s not ok for women and not men?..rape is NOT ok for anyone! Lastly, em, you are so caught up in you fake world of fashion that you are oblivious to the issues going on in the world today! It is people like you that reinforce problems like rape!

Posted by: CMAK on March 20, 2007 10:36 PM

Another example of obvious immoral advertising and how it subtlely pervades our lives everyday. This is perverse advertising.

Posted by: Veneratio on March 21, 2007 4:26 PM

Another example of obvious immoral advertising and how it subtlely pervades our lives everyday. This is perverse advertising.

Posted by: Veneratio on March 21, 2007 4:31 PM

Hey guys, do you know where i can find a copy of the image of the gay male rape image?
thanks

ps. Why are you even bothering to argue? You're clearly not going to change anyone's mind, so ask yourself: Why bother arguing with an idiot?

Posted by: ash on March 23, 2007 2:58 AM

Hey guys, do you know where i can find a copy of the image of the gay male rape image?
thanks

ps. Why are you even bothering to argue? You're clearly not going to change anyone's mind, so ask yourself: Why bother arguing with an idiot?

Posted by: ash on March 23, 2007 2:59 AM

haha.. i agree with ash.. well put my friend... although, nobody will stop their dumb animadversions until they feel they have their point across, therefore I say fuck it, i enjoy watching idiots argue over pathetic illustrations and topics.. not only does it baffle, but indeed entertains. thanks guys! ;-}

Posted by: Phillippe on March 23, 2007 11:05 AM

haha.. i agree with ash.. well put my friend... although, nobody will stop their dumb animadversions until they feel they have their point across, therefore I say fuck it, i enjoy watching idiots argue over pathetic illustrations and topics.. not only does it baffle, but indeed entertains. thanks guys! ;-}

Posted by: Phillippe on March 23, 2007 11:05 AM

I am doing a paper for a womens studies class and the ad just jumped out at me. Regardless whether or not these men are gay or not is irrelevant, it is perpetuating the myth that gang rape or rape in general is okay. People see this and think, oh how cool, dolce and gabbana promote rape. This ad also does not stop on just that page either. When I flipped through my GQ the next ad is of a woman apparently dead surrounded by investigators. THIS IS NOT OK!! Violence toward women is a worldy epidemic and is spread through ads and media like this. Let me stop so i can finish my paper.

Posted by: ajan on April 5, 2007 9:55 PM

You do realize they were probably trying to be offensive just to get people talking right? I doubt they were trying to be edgy (maybe sexy), but infact they wanted the public to be offended...it gets them exposure to not only those in the fashion know but the everyday person.
By perpetuating this thread, they've achieved thier goal...which is exactly what most of you are against.

Posted by: Whatever on April 10, 2007 1:20 PM

You do realize they were probably trying to be offensive just to get people talking right? I doubt they were trying to be edgy (maybe sexy), but infact they wanted the public to be offended...it gets them exposure to not only those in the fashion know but the everyday person.
By perpetuating this thread, they've achieved thier goal...which is exactly what most of you are against.

Posted by: Whatever on April 10, 2007 1:27 PM

I think its a great advert. Very inspiring. I myself is a fashion lover. Dolce and gabanna are always trying to flawnt sexual intercourse in there adverts. To be honsest I think that it was makes them highly recodnised. I feel this advert is great. I have seen worse in my time. I have worked with the Dolce and gabanna company before as a model and they are very friendly. :D

Posted by: angela on April 25, 2007 6:54 PM

Dolce and Gabbana's photo shoots and adverts are brilliant, people need to relax and stop jumping aboard the moan bandwagon. I bet most of you will have forgotten about the advert within a couple of weeks of seeing it.

Sensationalism is lovely though...

Posted by: Dorian on May 1, 2007 1:25 PM

Dolce and Gabbana's photo shoots and adverts are brilliant, people need to relax and stop jumping aboard the moan bandwagon. I bet most of you will have forgotten about the advert within a couple of weeks of seeing it.

Sensationalism is lovely though...

Posted by: Dorian on May 1, 2007 1:26 PM

I'm doing an essay in school about this ad and i need to write a newspaper report on it, using language techniques (list of three, sarcasism blah blah, but im quite stuck :S any ideas???

Posted by: Emma on May 11, 2007 7:56 AM

I'm doing an essay in school about this ad and i need to write a newspaper report on it, using language techniques (list of three, sarcasism blah blah, but im quite stuck :S any ideas???

Posted by: Emma on May 11, 2007 7:57 AM

I'm doing an essay in school about this ad and i need to write a newspaper report on it, using language techniques (list of three, sarcasism blah blah, but im quite stuck :S any ideas???

Posted by: Emma on May 11, 2007 7:57 AM

I'm doing an essay in class about this ad and i need to write a newspaper report on it, using language techniques (list of three, sarcasism blah blah, but im quite stuck :S any ideas???

Posted by: Emma on May 11, 2007 7:57 AM

I'm doing an essay in class about this ad and i need to write a newspaper report on it, using language techniques (list of three, sarcasism blah blah, but im quite stuck :S any ideas???

Posted by: Emma on May 11, 2007 7:57 AM

I'm doing an essay in class about this ad and i need to write a newspaper report on it, using language techniques (list of three, sarcasism blah blah, but im quite stuck :S any ideas???

Posted by: Emma on May 11, 2007 7:59 AM

These ads are called art. It's the vision of two talented, creative individuals, who are sharing their vision. If you don't want to look at it, turn the page in the magazine and go on to the next ad.

If it were gang rape, their clothes would be off, and the guys wouldn't be looking off in the distance, they'd be looking at that girl's tata's. Look how hot she is.

You people just need to get off your pedestal. No one gives a damn!

Posted by: Tyler on August 15, 2007 10:03 AM

THIS SITE IS BULLSHIT!
DOLCE AND GABBANA IS ART!
YOUR SHIT!
AND HAVE NO LIFE!
HAAHAHA

Posted by: Starla on August 15, 2007 10:11 AM

THIS SITE IS BULLSHIT!
DOLCE AND GABBANA IS ART!
YOUR SHIT!
AND HAVE NO LIFE!
HAAHAHA

Posted by: Starla on August 15, 2007 10:11 AM

I am shocked by people who believe that ad is ART.
I am an art student, and HUGE fashion fan -BUT - that is no art and no fashion!- this is just to catch your attention by a controversy. Boys that are standing closest to her- are half naked- they are about to DO IT! -their jeans are barley seen- i can't tell if i love the jeans and want to buy them, cause they are not visible enough to catch my eye!!!But i can clearly see him restraining her ! And DG did not care about proper product exposure- they wanted to make people's jaw drop, no matter which way! God, my best friend was raped - the guy who did it- was the best catch of our school - handsome and sexy...But she did not thought that way, when she was pined down to the ground in his basement......After that - she is not a girl i used to know, ..........God, people are so sick.....Even though- i like D&G clothing---guess what-- I'll never buy them again.....Of course - it is so much harder to make a great ad, that actually clean !

Posted by: Mariya on October 5, 2007 3:07 PM

please..just guys looking for some fun..Whats wrong with that?

Posted by: wewew on October 20, 2007 2:44 AM

The really sad thing is that women will still flock after this brand, as most are dazzled by the fashion industry and "designer" concept.
(anyway, what other sort of clothing is there, other than "designer" - how else can a product exist except by design?)

We are our own worst enemy.

Posted by: Gullible consumer on October 20, 2007 6:49 PM

Cut, paste, id, ego...

Posted by: rkitty on October 21, 2007 10:56 AM

@ jackson (second post)

LOL! That was my first thought as well.

Posted by: Mickey Rooney on October 23, 2007 10:16 AM

I am an artist of such, and doing an assignment on this advertisment. I do not consider gang sex as art, or as a way to promote a clothing label. Someone said turn the page on the magizine .. but are you aware that this is not the only ad of D & G which exploits men and women. This is not however gang rape, because that girl is expressed with a sub dued and seductive look upon her face. I think D&G advertising is trying to put forward that gang sex is a new fashion craze and we should all jump in. We should protest .. our society is becoming desensitized towards confronting advertisments such as these .. lets do something about it or our world is going to become the 'plastic glamour of fairytale magazines'.

Posted by: Brooke on November 8, 2007 7:57 AM

how can anyone see this as "JUST AN ADVERTISMENT"
that is just to show how ignorant some people are :/ if we just ignore minor things such as this ad, then soon enought more and more things like this are going to become "ok" in our society and accepted and its not right and this is definitly not beautiful and notart

Posted by: di maggio on November 12, 2007 7:08 PM

hahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahhahhahaahahahhaahhahahahahahahhahahaahahahhahaahhahahahaahhahahahahh im a d.t hahaahahahahahhaahhhahahaahhahahahhahahhhhahahhahhahahahhahahahhahahhahahahhahahahahhahahahahhahahhahahahahhahahahahaahahahahhahaha im a d.t

Posted by: d.t on November 12, 2007 7:22 PM

We were born naked so whats wrong with showing some skin?
and obviously if you'd seen the other ads you would KNOW that all the boys in them allude to being gay.
And lastly she doesn't have shock on her face or anything, it's an ad.
The other guys are no where near her.
And GUYS can get raped, so it DOES matter that no one would say anything if this was flipped, if it was a girl ontop of a guy and all these girls staring, no one would think that the guy was getting raped.

Posted by: Amanda on November 21, 2007 4:02 PM

this ad does not depict rape..

I see a sexy girl about to be kissed by a gay hunk..whic hturns her on and the gay guys are staring in awe at her expression adn maybe wondering if the kiss will happen.

if it were a rape scene..the guys would look like typical straight pigs..and they would be laughing fat and ugly. the girl would look horrified.

Posted by: vegas on November 22, 2007 3:26 AM

Okay, so it's a little rapey. I might raise my eyebrows and wonder what they were thinking if I saw it in a magazine, but I wouldn't make a whole huge deal about it. I'm quite sure no one at the company actually said "hey, I know, let's make a rape ad today!"

Posted by: Haley on December 1, 2007 9:20 PM

Enough already... Can we hit this one on the head before we get to 2008?
Cheers/George

Posted by: george parker on December 1, 2007 10:54 PM

FUCK EVERYONE THAT HATES DOLCE & GABBANA!
They never tried to glorify rape, violence, or anything like that.
I idolize D&G
They are the greatest designers of our time and people just can't seem to stop fucking with them
They are just tryna sell clothes and most of you should admnit that they're stuff is cute
And why would they PURPOSELY dissapoint females when it's mostly females that buy their stuff
Obviously they were taking a risk and trying something new
The girl is not scared or intimated by the man on top of her
If anything she looks bored
And someone said that people that say it's just an ad doesn't know what it's like for people that have been raped
Well in my situation some of my closes friends have seen this ad and they've been abused or raped by men in their past, not to mention my mom has been raped
They had no issue with this ad
They actually liked this ad and thought it was sexy
I've even had my very bad issues with men since I was 11 and I even like this ad
People just are overly sensitive
How about we skip this ad and head to something more important
Like people dying in poor countries and such?

Posted by: Shaniquequa on December 6, 2007 12:22 AM







Featured FREE Resource: