This picture is part of the 2007 Chinese advertising campaign for Sisley, which bears the tagline: “Fashion Junkie.” This ad is not only associating “shopaholism” with serious addictions such as alcoholism and drug addiction, but it seems to be promoting the use of these substances in order to depict their brand as “addictive” and “hip”.
While I’m not exactly keen on our culture’s consistent theme of “shop, buy, toss out, and repeat steps 1-3,” portraying shoppers as hungrily thin teen girls slumped over a table, sporting skimpy attire and bloodshot eyes, is both shocking and potentially hazardous considering the vast reach and penetrating impact of today’s media. Sure, this ad could have been created to intentionally generate shock value — either way, I know very few people who would view this ad as motivation to shop there.
I will be first to admit that I enjoy my share of controversial ads that may be pushing society’s boundaries of humor or sex, but this campaign is justifying the harmful use of dangerous substances by essentially categorizing them next to a girl’s passion for Loui Vuitton handbags and Jimmy Choo stilettos.
This campaign takes the phrase, “Beauty is Pain,” to a whole new level. Apparently now it’s also a synonym for “Addiction” and “Anorexia”, not to mention “Nudity” (left side of photo).