Above are two advertisements for Italian tile (and design) company Bisazza, photos of a Geisha in Shibari shot by world-famous Japanese avant-garde photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. The ads ran in magazines such as Elle Interiors, Wallpaper and World of Interiors — until six, yes six people complained to The Advertising Standards Authority, who reacted with a complete ban on the ads.
The ads are actually quite beautiful. You can see them here.
The ads are so tame as to be laughable, but I’m not really laughing when I consider the implications of what happens when an industry authority, in an industry known for strong influence on culture and art, caters to the sexual morality of the few — to the most negative ends. But considering what the ASA had to say about what they think might be going on in the ads’ images — revealing much about their own perverse imaginations… It’s obvious that this is not a balanced conversation, nor a mature organization deserving of its power or voice in what should be a diverse landscape. BBC tells us,
An advertisement showing a woman bound with rope and exposing her thighs has been banned by the industry watchdog.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the image used by tile company Bisazza implied sexual violence “had taken place or was about to”.
(…) But the ASA said the geisha was “shown in a submissive pose, appeared visibly upset and was shown with her kimono pushed up to expose her thigh”.
“Notwithstanding the highly stylised nature of the ads, we considered the creative treatment could be seen to imply that sexual violence had taken place or was about to take place,” it said. (…read all, news.bbc.co.uk, thanks Jason!)