The latest in fashion ad to be put on the chopping block in the UK is Yves Saint Laurent's commercial for their new Belle D'Opium
fragrance. Featuring the stunning French actress Melanie Thierry
, she dances writhingly in a temple dressed in Grecian garb. The ad is a direct reference to the Oracle of Delphi where in priestesses were believed to be violently possessed by the god Apollo. They would essentially go mad and give prophesies in gibberish that needed to be translated by priests. Reference: that cool scene in 300
where the girl was shot underwater to look like she was having a celestial freak-out. THAT scene would make an incredible YSL ad. There is some interesting debate that the trances, which many priestesses were believed to regularly die from, was caused by evidence of poisonous natural gases
that emmitted from the Oracle's site.
What the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is concerned about is “Belle running her finger down her inner arm could be seen to simulate the injection of opiates into the body… the ad concluded with her body seizing upwards while lying on the floor, an action we considered could be seen to simulate the effect of drugs on the body.”
Have they never seen an episode of CSI? I understand that the fragrance's name has "opium" in it--what heroin is made from--and the arm gesture is awkwardly apparent, like throwing up a baseball signal during a ballet, but overall the ad is pretty innocuous. Even a bit boring. A small gesture that could signify heroin use is the least of the ASA’s worries, and the writhing on the floor part is just what the priestesses at Delphi
did. I almost have to knock YSL in being too literal in their reference to the Oracle. Maybe the ASA should be more concerned with the terrifying possibility of being possessed or the daily fear of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home rather than a perfume ad encouraging drug use.
Do you think YSL's Belle D'Opium commerical should be banned?