Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How far is too far?

The fashion industry showcases fashion. This includes clothing, accessories, handbags, shoes, etc. All things fashion. However, over the years the advertisements that the fashion companies create and put out there for the public can stir some pretty controversial issues that completely take away from what they are trying to sell: their clothes. As you can see from these Sisley ad campaigns, the fashion aspect of these advertisements is completely lost in the serious and dark tones and message being advertised. We have seen over the years that clearly sex sells. But where do we draw the line when something becomes too provocative or too sexy? Is there such a thing as too sexy? These ads were featured in 2007 from the sister company, Sisley of the major clothing group Benetton (many may have heard of United Colors of Benetton). These ads denote two women posing with wine glass, leaning, and using "white sticks". There are more things we could say, but for the most part there are simply two women in each other these ads sitting and/or leaning. However, the messages that these two ads connotate have a much deeper message. The imagery in the bottom advertisements allows one to infer that these young women are doing cocaine, while the two women in the top advertisement appear to be heavily under the influence or intoxicated with some sort of drug. The images do not reveal anything about the clothing and the women are certainly not "high" off of the fashion. Their slogan "fashion junkie," though literally may be represented to a degree from the image is not sending an appropriate message for younger girls and certainly does not showcase the clothing or fashion in any shape, way or form. These ads are older and I don't know the history behind them, but I would image that if these advertisements were public, they were quickly removed. Also, I can't envision with the outlook that United Colors of Benetton delivers that they would like to be associated with this kind of campaign. As consumers become interested in more lavish lifestyles and the media continues to become cluttered with the constant new and improvements, brands have to find ways to out do themselves. Not the easiest task to stand out. There is a large difference between being innovative, creative, and having a strong selling appeal and then standing out based on sex, drugs, or other immoral and inappropriate approaches.


  1. I'm pretty sure these SISLEY ads did go public, and there was a little bit of backlash but nothing like having to remove them. I personally really like these ads. I don't think they're glamorizing drug use, I just think they're having a little fun with the whole model-drug user cliche.

  2. the ad on the bottom...
    I was actually looking for that add to analyze, because I remember I had to do a similar thing about it last year.... but I couldn't find the add anywhere online.
    Good job... I think this ad is extremely interesting!!!!