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Tuesday 10 September 2013

Ella Baché Campaign Banned: "Too Sexy"

Okay, let's play a spot the difference game:

Did you pick it?


In one, the girls are not smiling.

In the other, they are not.

In one of the most curious decisions in recent advertising history, an Ella Baché outdoor advertising campaign has been banned because the models’ “serious facial expressions did increase the sexual overtones of the image”, according to industry self-regulator, the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) (see ruling below).

The advertising campaign was to be featured in 6m x 3m billboards in all major cities, showing three models with three serious expressions on their faces under the tagline “Skin solutions as individual as you are”.

Ella Baché also shot the three models smiling in the same pose – which was seen by the OMA as “acceptable as it is less sexualised and is relevant to the product” – and this shot will be used as a substitute following the ban.

The OMA cited the AANA Code of Ethic Sections for its inexplicable breach decision, referring to the treatment of “sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity”.

Creative director - and 40 year advertising veteran - Ms Faie Davis said “This bizarre decision is the epitome of political correctness, indicating that as a society we are becoming very fearful of putting a foot wrong, with the result that stymies creative thinking.

“In the past we have produced ads approved with nude men and women hugging and kissing, yet now we have an industry self-regulator now making judgments on the different sexual mores of a smile or serious expression of models”, she added.

Ella Baché is a premium skincare. The new campaign is designed to position the brand across the promise of “Skin Solutions As Individual As You Are” and the brand is centered on educating and working with women to achieve healthy and vibrant skin underpinned by the philosophy that “no two skins are alike”.

Ella Baché is also the largest salon network in Australia. The campaign was entirely developed and shot in Australia.

“Yet now we are seeing self-appointed regulators making sexual judgements about facial expressions, which borders on the laughable. This sort of thinking displays why Australian advertising is falling behind the rest of the world, as creativity is being squeezed out by political correctness”, said Ms Davis. “It has compromised the campaign which relied on multiple images to achieve what we want with the campaign”.

Ella Baché has featured nude models advertising of skin care products in Australia over the last 20 years - but this story is rather... unique. The banned ad featured no nudity and the only difference between the two ads below are the facial expressions.

What do you think of this whole hoo-ha?

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