Bloody Elle Macpherson Intimates Campaign Gets Banned

A new Australian ad campaign for Elle Macpherson Intimates contains an ad that shows two lingerie-clad models in a kitchen acting as if they were in the latest cheesy horror flick wielding knives at each other. The ad has caused many complaints and is said to have gone too far. Macpherson calls the ads "beautifully haunting and ambiguous" but Liz Longhurst doesn't think so.

Longhurst's daughter Jane was murdered by a man obsessed with necrophilia and she feels that the ad should be banned because it connects sex with violence. Longhurst wrote in The Daily Mail "Without the sales pitch, what is there in Elle Macpherson's campaign but the picture of a faceless woman, clutching a knife, in titillating underwear. How easily could that become a distorted fantasy for some."

She has a point. Sex and titillation is one thing. Aligning it with violence is another. There's no doubt this campaign was conceived knowing full well it would cause controversy and press coverage. In the minds of marketers, consumers have been so desensitized that tactics such as these are deemed effective, appropriate and even arty.

Elle Macpherson Intimates is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, a campaign featured a keyhole view of a model some claimed was masturbating. No one ever died from masturbating and there's nothing damaging about an ad that might cause people to masturbate more than they already do. There is something very wrong, though, with an ad that makes knife wielding look sexy.

by Steve Hall    Sep-13-04   Click to Comment   

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