Let's be honest: Calvin Klein isn't known for being socially responsible when it comes to advertising. But their latest ad may be indecent and disturbing, even for them.
The photograph, which depicts a half-naked woman lying lifeless while surrounded by shirtless hunks (one on top of her, one grabbing her hair, another seemingly waiting his turn), was banned by Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau.
They claimed it invokes violence against women. One critic said the ad "imitates gang rape to advertise the brand."
I do see traces of gang rape in the ad: her lifeless body, her passivity while the surrounding men engage in aggressive physical contact, the gate which conjures thoughts of street violence and crime. But are we reading into the ad too much?
Claims of gang rape being simulated in ads are sadly not new. This ad brings to memory that of Dolce & Gabbana which I found equally alarming as it pictures a man pinning a woman down by the wrists while others stand waiting their turn.
And of course, who can forget the Akoo ad scandal in Newark where critics argued oral sex was being simulated to sell jeans?
What do you think of Calvin Klein's ad? Is it simulating gang rape? Is it socially irresponsible? Discuss.