Yves Saint Laurent's latest fragrance ad for Belle d'Opium, which stars French actress Melanie Thierry as 'Belle', dancing to the beat of a drum, during which she points to her inner elbow and runs her finger along the inside of her forearm, has been banned in the U.K. At the end of the spot, Thierry says, "I am your addiction, I am Belle d'Opium. The new fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent."
According to a report in the Telegraph, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) stated that the advert was irresponsible and offensive, because Thierry's actions simulated drug use. A spokesperson for YSL Beauté expressed their disappointment about the ASA upholding the small number of complaints, "The advertisement was not intended to make any reference to drug culture, but to promote the sensuality and seductive qualities of the fragrance in keeping with the Opium brand which was launched by Yves Saint Laurent over thirty years ago."
British choreographer Akram Khan was the mastermind behind the dance moves and said he aimed to create an ad "inspired by the concept of the removal of excessive movement, focusing on the most simple and profound things."
Opium, a component found in poppy flowers, is processed chemically to produce heroin. YSL Beauté say that the name Belle d'Opium "suggests the addictive qualities of women who wear the fragrance, rather than the addictive effects of narcotics."
This isn't the first time that YSL Opium, which was created in 1977 by the late designer Yves Saint Laurent, has created controversy. In 2000, an image of British model Sophie Dahl lying mostly naked elicited hundreds of complaints in the U.K., with people offended by the sexually suggestive imagery.
Watch the controversial fragrance ad video above and leave a comment telling us if you believe it went too far.