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Opium poster banned after record complaints

LONDON - The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a poster advert for Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium perfume featuring naked model Sophie Dahl, after receiving the highest number of complaints for a single ad for five years

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The ad, which shows a reclining Dahl wearing nothing but a pearl choker and gold stilettos, received 730 complaints -- more than any other campaign since the British Safety Council’s safe sex campaign in 1995, which featured the Pope wearing a crash helmet.

The ASA ordered Yves Saint Laurent to withdraw the Opium poster last night, saying that it was too sexually suggestive and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. The company could now have to submit its posters to the authority for vetting for the next two years.

The ad, which uses an image from a photograph by Stephen Meisel, only attracted three complaints when it first ran in the press in October.

Protestors denounced the ad as “porno chic” and degrading to women, road safety campaigners feared that the posters could distract drivers and cause accidents, and councillors and parents complained that the ads were displayed too close to schools.

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