'Risqué' Paco Rabanne advert not harmful to children: Advertising Standards Authority

14 November 2017 - 12:35 By Ernest Mabuza
Pure XS by Paco Rabanne Men’s fragrance.
Pure XS by Paco Rabanne Men’s fragrance.
Image: Supplied

A TV advertisement by a fragrance maker did not contain any visual presentation that might harm children mentally‚ morally‚ physically and emotionally.

This is the finding made by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on Friday‚ when it dismissed a complaint by a viewer who saw an advert for the fragrance on SABC3 during August.

Shelley Sonneberg complained that the commercial was too risqué for TV and implied it was pornographic.

The commercial‚ for Pure XS by Paco Rabanne Men’s fragrance‚ shows a topless man entering a dressing room‚ taking his shirt off and admiring his muscles in a one-way mirror.

A group of women are then shown standing behind the mirror also admiring the man.

The man slowly takes his pants off and sprays himself with the advertised fragrance. As the man sprays his lower abdomen‚ the women faint. The voice over says‚ “Pure XS. The new fragrance for men from Paco Rabanne.”

Sonnenberg submitted that the advertising was tasteless‚ and she questioned the message that the commercial sends to children.

However‚ African Sales Company‚ which distributes the fragrance‚ said although the commercial might be perceived as "sexy”‚ it could not be argued that it was overly sexual or explicit and children were not likely to be adversely affected.

In its ruling the ASA directorate agreed‚ saying it accepted that the implications of the commercial were sexual‚ but there was no overt sexual behaviour.

“For a child who has not been exposed to any sex education or knowledge‚ the commercial shows a man putting on deodorant and women inexplicably fainting‚” the ASA said.

It said to understand the innuendo in the advert‚ the viewer would have to have the appropriate sexual knowledge.