Recent Saint Laurent Advertisement Using “Underweight” Model is Now Banned for Use in UK and That’s Good for Press
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By Marissa Tozzi | Impressionist

Who knew being banned can be so good? That’s what we’re taking away from the recent ban of Saint Laurent’s new ad by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), as press outreach for the image couldn’t be better.

The ASA believe the representation of model Kiki Willems to be “irresponsible,” presenting an underweight model with an exposed rib cage and the width of her knees and thighs appearing to be the same. This coming from the country that produced Kate Moss and Twiggy, so they should know, right?

Saint Laurent isn’t alone as the ASA isn’t happy with a lot of advertisements because of inappropriate content. They have targeted Tom Ford and Miu Miu, deeming more than a few of their previous ads to be inappropriate as well.

But we at The Impression are not as much concerned about the reason for the ban as we are about its results. Looks to us like Saint Laurent’s ad is receiving more press now than ever, and we want in!

Non-fashion news sources like CNN, BBC News, and Telegraph UK have been covering the story and the image has gone on to now earn more media than it would have reached through paid media. While the image is solid standard fare for Saint Laurent, without the ban, the ad lacked a press hook. The ban added meat to the story, and gave us all an excuse to talk about Saint Laurent. Not that we needed much here at The Impression.

So it begs the question: Is the ASA secretly a press office? If so, we want to hire them! So for all those smart marketers out there – we highly recommend developing a few NSFW images in each of your campaigns and passing them along to your newfound friends at the ASA for additional press firepower. We’ll open our office up as a set (cheap) as we love it! We wanna be banned!

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