Photo Credit: Courtesy Marc Jacobs
The magazine advertisement for Oh, Lola! perfume shows Fanning reclining on a pink backdrop, wearing a frilly polka-dot dress hiked up to her thighs. Between her legs, she holds an oversized perfume bottle topped with a giant flower. The photo is both innocent and suggestive -- which is exactly its intention.
"When we were speaking about who to use in the Oh, Lola! fragrance ads, I had recently seen The Runaways," designer Jacobs told WWD in June. "Dakota was in it, and I knew she could be this contemporary Lolita, seductive yet sweet."
But Britain has stricter advertising standards than the U.S., particularly regarding the use of underage models. In their ruling against the ad, the Advertising Standards Authority takes issue with the childlike way Fanning is presented.
"We understood the model was 17 years old but we considered she looked under the age of 16," says the report. "We considered that the length of her dress, her leg and position of the perfume bottle drew attention to her sexuality. Because of that, along with her appearance, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise a child."
In their defense, the perfume manufacturer denies that Fanning is being sexualized, claiming that the giant perfume bottle was "provoking but not indecent" (whatever that means). Nonetheless, the ad will no longer be permitted to appear in British publications.
Fanning is no stranger to this kind of controversy. In 2007, her film Hounddog came under fire for a sexual scene featuring Fanning's character.
"It's really no different than playing any other character. I'm still not playing myself," Fanning told FOX News at the time. "I get to experience different things people go through without going through them myself, which is no different from watching a news story and learning from that."