Thursday, 3 February 2011

Yves Saint Laurent Belle D'Opium Advert Banned

A decade after Yves Saint Laurent made history when Opium became one of the most complained about adverts following their provocative campaign featuring a naked Sophie Dahl, the brand is in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority yet again. This time it's the new fragrance in the range, Belle D'Opium which is causing a stir, following complaints that the television advert glamourised drug use.

The advert for Belle D'Opium features French actress, Melanie Thierry dancing to a drum beat. She is then seen pointing to her inner elbow and running her finger along the insider of her forearm, which objectors have complained is suggestive of intravenous drug use. She is finally shown lying on the floor as the voiceover states, "I am your addiction. I am Belle d'Opium. The new fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent."
YSL have responded stating the the Opium name has been a registered trademark since 1977 and that the name Belle d'Opium was suggestive of the addictive qualities of the woman wearing the fragrance, rather than narcotics. Nonetheless, the thirteen complaints were considered sufficiently serious that the ASA has banned the advert being shown in its current form.

What do you think? Are YSL purposefully courting controversy following the legendary status of the Sophie Dahl ad? Are such complaints inevitable with the suggestive brand name? Do you find the advert offensive? Share your thoughts!
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2 comments

  1. I hadn't given the ad a second thought until I read about it yesterday. I don't find it offensive, nor do I think YSL are seeking attention. Why wait 10 yrs if they were?

    Some people have nothing better to complain about.

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  2. Thanks for your comment Vex.
    I agree- I hadn't particularly noted the ad previous to the ban & it seems very tame compared to some of the fashion, beauty & health images we see on a regular basis. I think publicity will be an inevitable effect of the ban, even if it's unintentional. With such a name, I assume there will be always those objecting to the Opium range.

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