RSS
Calvin Klein's controversial 'rape' ad
Has the fashion label's marketing department gone too far ... yet again?
 
The Australian government ordered Calvin Klein to remove the billboards (featuring supermodel Lara Stone) after women's groups complained.
The Australian government ordered Calvin Klein to remove the billboards (featuring supermodel Lara Stone) after women's groups complained.
Screen shot

The image: Calvin Klein ads and controversy go together like jeans and T-shirts, and the company's latest act of indiscretion, plastered on billboards throughout Sydney and Melbourne, drew dozens of complaints for its alleged depiction of sexual assault. (See image below.) Supermodel Lara Stone was shown wearing mere scraps of clothing, as three pencil-thin men — incidentally clad in jeans — appear to rough her up and pull her hair.
The reaction:
Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau has ordered that the billboards be taken down, concluding that the image demeans women by "suggesting that [Stone] is a plaything of these men." ("Yeah, well, so is the fashion industry," quips Gawker's Hamilton Nolan.) When I look at this image, says Lauren Rosewarne at the Australian Broadcasting blog Unleashed, "I see stock standard fashion photography. Rape? Violence? No. No matter how hard I squint my eyes." To view it in that light "presupposes consent is absent." See the full image for yourself:

 

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week