A new Tom Ford ad for the brand's Black Orchid fragrance caused some serious outrage when it first appeared on East London's, Brick Lane. According to Harpers Bazaar, the billboard was banned from being within 100 meters of schools, and featured a strategically posed, albeit nude Cara Delevingne. After mounting complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority had to get involved, but came to the conclusion that people can be extremely dramatic, ruling that, "Whilst they [Tom Ford] accepted the model was nude...they believe neither her pose nor facial expression were sexually suggestive and were classical in nature, and had been depicted in art."
Although the accusations seem to be a bit outlandish in this particular case, Tom Ford is no stranger to criticism in terms of how women are depicted in his campaigns. In a recent interview with The Guardian, the provocative designer says, “I’ve been criticized for objectifying women. But I’m an equal opportunity objectifier – I’m just as happy to objectify men. The thing is, you can’t show male nudity in our culture in the way you can show female nudity. We’re very comfortable as a culture exploiting women, but not men. But I don’t think of it as exploitation." Ford's team defended the ad by describing it as what it appears to be, "Sensuous, not sexual."
The advert has since been cleared for exposure (no pun intended), reports the Toronto Sun.