YSL's Naked Lady Less Offensive Than KFC
May 31, 2012 - by Lester Brathwaite
Oh you Brits. When it comes to matters of manners and decrees of decorum, speaking with one's mouth full trumps a naked lady any day of the week. At least that's the case according to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority which released a survey on the nation's most complained-about ads in the past 50 years.
Yves Saint Laurent's 2000 Opium ad featuring a naked Sophie Dahl ranked only eighth on the list with a total of 939 complaints. The ASA agreed with the public outcry and banned the ad on the basis that it was "sexually suggestive and likely to cause serious or widespread offence."
Compare that, however, to a 2005 KFC commercial that had an office of call center operators singing with their mouths full that received 1,671 complaints -- nearly twice as many as Dahl's naked breast -- from fear that the ad would "encourage bad manners amongst children."
The ad, despite its wanton disregard for culinary courtesy, was not banned.
Other ads proving more controversial than YSL's naked lady include a 2009 ad from the Christian Party pronouncing the definite existence of God; many found it to be offensive to atheists and unable to be substantiated, but the ASA let that one slide.
Conversely, the ASA agreed that a 1995 ad from the British Safety Council bearing an image of the Pope advocating the use of condoms was offensive to Roman Catholics and subsequently banned it.
The ASA did not bend to the 1,313 complaints about a 2010 commercial from Paddy Power depicting a blind soccer player accidentally kicking a cat across the field, though it was potentially offensive to blind people and allegedly encouraged animal cruelty.
So if you're keeping score at home: boobs = bad; atheism = okay; bad manners = passable; pussy-kicking = so what. [Telegraph]