March 6, 2017 / 4:18 PM / 5 months ago

Saint Laurent told to modify ad campaign after uproar in France

Activists hold placards which read "Sexist" during a demonstration in front of a Yves Saint Laurent shop in Paris, France, March 7, 2017.Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - France's advertising watchdog on Monday said it had asked French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent to modify two ads from its latest campaign after receiving 50 complaints that they were "degrading" to women.

One of the ads features a reclining woman in a fur coat and fishnet tights with her legs spread wide and the other shows a model in a leotard and roller skate stilettos bending over a stool.

The ads caused uproar on social media where people called on Yves Saint Laurent to withdraw them. The complaints were brought to the attention of the advertising watchdog the Autorite de Regulation Professionnelle de la Publicite (ARPP), which then asked the label to change them.

"We asked the brand and the ad displayer to make changes to these visuals as soon as possible," ARPP head Stephane Martin told Reuters.

Activists hold placards which read "Sexist" during a demonstration in front of a Yves Saint Laurent shop in Paris, France, March 7, 2017.Philippe Wojazer

He said the ads were a serious breach of rules set by the advertising industry to maintain "dignity and respect in the representation of the person."

Martin also said the fact that the models featured in the ads were very thin was also a concern because of the impact on fashion-conscious teenage girls.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Saint Laurent, part of luxury group Kering, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The advertising ethics jury, a body tied to ARPP and independent from the advertising industry, will rule on the complaints on Friday. The ethics committee can ask Yves Saint Laurent to withdraw the ads if it decides there are grounds for the complaints.

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority banned a Saint Laurent ad in 2015 that featured a very thin model whose ribcage was showing.

Reporting by Pascale Denis, Writing by Dominique Vidalon. Editing by Jane Merriman

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