An art director in England is in hot water over a provocative photo shoot he planned for a "very young girl" on a toilet. Pablo Gonzalez de la Pena described the bizarre storyboard -- intended as an advertisement for the British reality show "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" -- in a private email sent to the photographer assigned to the shoot. The Guardian has the details of de la Pena's email, which reportedly resulted in a "scathing" email response from the photographer:
In the email de la Pena suggests he wants to see a photograph with "a dirty kiss between a couple, with tongue"; "a toilet, ideally an outdoor one [where] we can see the tail of a wedding dress coming out from it, like a bride has just used"; and "a very young girl pretending to be a bride".
This isn't the first time the self-professed "revealing documentary series" about the peripheral community has raised eyebrows with its advertising choices. In February, a campaign drew complaints of racism for billboards of gypsies with the words "Bigger, Fatter, Gypsier" plastered on top.
The London Gypsy & Traveller Unit asked if the advertisers would "have been so ready to use the adverts with similarly compromising phrases for other ethnic groups: 'Jewisher' or 'more Asian' or 'blacker.'"
Channel 4 pled naivete, saying their intention was never to offend. This time around, top brass are simply passing the buck, painting de la Pena as a junior advertiser unrepresentative of the team's vision as a whole. The Guardian points out that the Channel sang a different tune when it hired de la Pena, a score they announced with a press release calling him a "senior art director."
While sexual innuendo and marketing go together like bridezillas and TLC, lately subtlety seems particularly overlooked in UK ad brainstorming sessions. Just a few days ago the English National Opera raised eyebrows with an advertisement for Don Giovanni starring a condom wrapper and a juvenile pun.
What do you think, readers? Should we abandon expectations of classy advertising from a reality TV show? Or is a young girl's "dirty kiss" beyond the pale? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Check out some more super sexual ads below:
Image courtesy of jasmined, Flickr.