“Irresponsible” Miu Miu Ad Shot by Bruce Weber Banned in Britain

Banned Miu Miu Ad

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a non-governmental group that deals with “complaints about advertising” in the U.K., banned a Miu Miu fashion ad shot by Bruce Weber because they found it to be “irresponsible and in breach of the Code in showing a child in a hazardous or dangerous situation.” The child in question is 14-year-old American actress Hailee Steinfeld, the breakout star of last year’s True Grit.

The ad shows Steinfeld donning 1940s-inspired Miu Miu clothing while sitting on abandoned railroad tracks. The ASA accepted parent company Prada’s explanation that the setting was meant to depict an actress on a movie set, relaxing between takes and rubbing her eye nonchalantly, rather than to suggest the young girl is upset and contemplating suicide. The ASA also acknowledged that the ad was geared toward a mature audience since it was published in Tatler magazine, whose readership is for the most part adult. However, the ASA still found the ad to be troublesome since Steinfeld is shown in a “potentially hazardous situation” and noted the “ad must not appear again in its current form.”

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14 Responses to ““Irresponsible” Miu Miu Ad Shot by Bruce Weber Banned in Britain”

  1. Len Cook Says:

    That track is not abandoned, as you erroneously state in the article. The top surface of the rail is not rusted, meaning the track is in active use. Furthermore, in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA, there have been several suicides involving despondent teens walking into the tracks of an oncoming train. There are two sides to this issue, with dead children on one side and ? on the other.

  2. Jon Spielberg Says:

    Interesting that of the 12 Hailee shots on Bruce’s website this one is not shown but another of Hailee near the tracks is. I agree with Len Cook’s comment. We have had several very recent teen/RR incidents in the Philly suburbs. I winced when I saw the image and laughed when I saw Prada’s “explanation”. The rest of the Hailee images are cheerful and of course Bruce’s work is fantastic.

  3. Tom Says:

    I wonder if they received permission to the foul the track, if its an active track?

  4. Toby Key Says:

    You have to bear in mind that in England a lot of tracks have an electrified third rail to power the trains. So going anywhere near the tracks is very hazardous even if no trains are around, and why the UK policy in this area is so much stricter.

  5. Tired123 Says:

    Really?!?! Have these people nothing better to do? It’s a photo on train track, who cares?

  6. Jim Says:

    Ironically, in the movie True Grit, this same actress crossed a raging river on the back of a horse; climbed 20 feet into a tree to cut down a dead man; was faced various times with murderous outlaws; shot a man; was kidnapped and was bitten by a rattlesnake. Here, she sits on a train track and NOW it’s child endangerment? Just sayin’.

  7. Mark Says:

    I’m with Tired123 – you’ll all a pack of paranoid wankers,
    It’s just a picture…

  8. The Interrobang - Censorship Watch: Ad Banned in Britain for Being Irresponsible | The Interrobang Says:

    […] found this story at pdnpulse.com where it was explained that the company told the ASA that they were not meaning to depict a […]

  9. Shauna Says:

    I would have never associated this pic with teen suicide. Train tracks are very popular locations for pictures. I think people are reading too much into it.

  10. Mark Forman Says:

    I do not agree or not agree with this ad.
    However those railroad tracks are not abandoned at all by the evidence of recent usage by the shine on the rails and the well maintained roadbed.
    I think that this lie combined with the controversy makes it problematic .
    The producers are responsible for this and must be held accountable.

  11. Jeremy Says:

    Ridiculous. Maybe the British should outlaw railroad tracks since they kill so many people or jail all emotionally distressed teenage girls.

  12. Nick Says:

    Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be British…. Of course it is pretty ironic that for the most part British editorial and ad work is so much edgier than US work.

  13. social authority Says:

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  14. Joan Says:

    In the United States, sitting or walking along railroad tracks is considered trespassing whether the tracks are abandoned are not. Also, the trains carrying cargo are seldom on a regular schedule as a commuter train or Amtrak. Therefore, there is no way to know that a train is not coming just because you’ve never seen one on that day of the week at that particular time.

    In other words, I find this very dangerous and illegal regardless of the model’s age.