The Advertising Standards Authority has today upheld a complaint against an advert for Armani Junior clothes.
The advert which had appeared in Times Magazine showed a topless child in baggy jeans with long hair and a necklace. The complaint under sections 2.2 (Principles), 5.1 (Decency) and 47.2 (Children) of the ASA code said the advert "was offensive, because it sexualised children and encouraged them to emulate adults, exploited the child in the photo and, especially, because the gender of the child was ambiguous and could encourage paedophiles."
The model had in fact been a boy but Orthet Ltd. who were responsible for the advert said it had withdrawn it. The Times had also received 10 complaints.
The ASA adjudication said that "because it sexualised the child, the advertisement was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. It welcomed the advertisers' decision to withdraw the advertisement and advised them to seek advice from the CAP Copy Advice team before advertising again."