Coco Mademoiselle’s TV Ad Gets Banned by ASA

The TV commercial for Coco Mademoiselle perfume, featuring Keira Knightley, has been deemed inappropriate by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), as it was found to be”sexually suggestive”.

Text: Maria Meintani


The beginning of the ad, showing Keira Knigthley owning the Parisian streets riding her Ducati, does not by any means predispose the viewers for what is about to come. Ms Knightley, fully dressed in a motorbike suit, yet ultra sexy, enters the venue where a photoshoot of her is going to take place and boom, the scenario of a model getting into a sexually tensed eye contact with her handsome photographer comes to life.

After watching the specific commercial being aired during a screening of the Ice Age 2 film, a movie addressing towards kids, a female viewer made complaints, as she found it totally unsuitable to be shown to younger audiences. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) seemed to espouse this rationale, deciding that it should be banned from being shown on TV. “We noted that the photographer was directly involved in unzipping the actress’s garments and that there was a suggestion that she was naked aside from a bed sheet. We also noted that there was clear sexual tension between the pair and that they appeared about to kiss on the bed. We considered the ad was suitable for older children, but that the sexually suggestive material was unsuitable for young children”, they stated.

Although they seemed to acknowledge the fact that the undressing scene was included in the ad as a part of a photo shoot, they went on saying: “We therefore concluded that the ad was inappropriately scheduled and an ex-kids restriction should have been applied to prevent the ad from being broadcast in or around children’s programming”.

But what does Chanel have to say about this? The French fashion house defended the advert, claiming that its founder, Coco Chanel, was known for being a strong, confident woman and this is what they had Keira trying to reflect. “A degree of sexual tension is common in perfume ads, and this particular one was playful and sensual, rather than overtly sexual”, they said. The much loved brand also stated that there was no nudity in the ad and that the character only briefly revealed her shoulders as part of the photoshoot: “The photographer helped the actress remove her boots, rather than her clothes, as part of a wardrobe change during the photo shoot”.

As far as I am concerned, the ad does have a sexual sense but there are also many more inappropriate things out there that are extremely easy for kids to access, that should also be banned as well.

What’s your opinion about the whole case?

In case you haven’t watched the commercial, you can see the full version here: