It’s Just So…Glamorous?


In advertising there is usually something about an ad that creates a desire to have something, be like someone, or look like that.  But there’s something about this advert that eliminates all.

Is it because there is absolutely no eye contact within the text giving the impression of complete detachment?  Is it because the models are completely expressionless (except maybe the guy furthest from the front with expression that looks slightly concerned, but that could just be bad modelling)?  Or is it the fact that there is only one woman in swimmers being held down (yes, HELD DOWN) by a half naked man surrounded by four (there’s another on the right, but has been cut out in this) male onlookers?

On first glance at this picture it’s the sharpness of the clothes contrasting with bare skin that makes you stop to take notice.  But then it becomes apparent that there is a man dominating a woman, holding her down by the wrist.  All the men are looking down on the woman.  This gives the impression that she is below them, not just physically but in status also.  Though she is wearing the colour of passion on her lips, her face hardly displays passion.  Is it just me or does this have a “gang rape” feel to it?

I’m not an advertising master, but I wouldn’t want my brand associated with the glamourisation of gang rape.  Dolce & Gabbana defended this ad saying it demonstrated the power their clothes gave to wearers in society.  Hmm, right…

In my opinion, Dolce & Gabbana have used this picture to create a controversy based on this to enable them to the wonder that is free advertising.  This ad was released in 2007 and taken down in the same year due to the backlash received over the glamorous depiction of violence against women, mainly in Dolce & Gabbana’s home turf in Spain in which is was banned.  The NOW Foundation has list of offensive ads, this is second on the list.

It’s quite interesting when you Google “dolce and gabbana controversial ads” as it’s not just the one I’ve used that comes up.  There are several ads that have stirred the water over the years.

Do you think this promotes glamourised violence and rape?