Dorothea Lange Japanese Internment Photographs

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Date: 2008

Region: Europe

Subject: Social Opinion

Medium: Advertisement


Designer: Tom Ford

Confronting Bodies: Institute for Advertising Self-Discipline (IAP)

Dates of Action: April 2008

Location: Italy

Tom ford ad.jpg

Tom Ford: Born in Austin, Texas, Tom Ford moved in New York City to study Art History at New York University. He later focused his studies in architecture at Parson's School of Design in New York and Paris. In 1990, Tom Ford moved to Milan and joined Gucci as the Womenswear designer and became the Creative Director for the Gucci Group by 1994. With the Gucci Group's acquisition of Yves Saint Laurent and YSL Beaute, Tom Ford acquired the position of Creative Director for YSL as well as Gucci. During his ten years with Gucci Group as the creative director, Tom Ford helped sales increase from 230 million in 1994 to 3 million dollars in 2003. Tom Ford resigned from his position at Gucci Group in April 2004 and announced the launch of the TOM FORD brand the following year. In addition to his acclaimed products, his label is now notorious for his sexually explicate ad campaigns.

Description of Advertisement: The Spring/Summer 2008 eyewear advertisement depicts a close-up shot of a model wearing bright red lipstick, showcasing the brand's sunglasses while biting down on a man's middle finger. The advertisement was initially published in three Italian publications, including Italian Vogue, and encountered no censorship issues in the U.S.

The Incident: Tom Ford's advertisement for his Spring/ Summer 2008 eyewear collection was published in three Italian publications including Italian Vogue a month prior to the Institute for Advertising Self-Discipline (IAP) passing the ban to remove the ad from national media. Vicenzo Guggino, the general secretary at IAP, claimed that "our mission is to promote better and more acceptable communication." The Institute for Advertising Self-Discipline described the image of the eyewear ad as "markedly vulgar" and that it transcending "limits of simple bad taste" and offended the sensibility of its consumer audience. The committee believed that the ad was inappropriate for audiences because the scene represented offensive, derogatory and abusive acts against women.

Results of Incident: The ban ordered by IAP was put in effect in April of 2008 in all Italian publications. The ad was formerly printed in three publications including Italian Vogue a month before the ban; however, the Spring/Summer 2008 eyewear advertisement was removed and prohibited to be printed in future publications. No comment from Tom Ford was acquired, according to Women's Wear Daily. Meanwhile, the same ad enjoys publication in the United States.

Source: Tom Ford Website <http://www.tomford.com/#/en/thebrand/tomford><VR>

"Banned in the USA: Have Sexual Images in Advertising Gone Too Far? (Or Not Far Enough?)" by Erin Flaherty, Yahoo <http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/banned-in-the-usa-have-sexual-images-in-advertising-gone-too-far-or-not-far-enough-163002.html>

"Tom Ford Eyewear Ads Banned in Italy" by Styled Life UK <http://styledlife.excite.co.uk/tom-ford-eyewear-ads-banned-in-italy-N2068.html>

Women's Wear Daily <http://www.wwd.com/media-news/fashion-memopad/memo-pad-and-his-qualifications-are-eye-of-the-beholder-456848>