Miu Miu’s Ad Campaign is Deemed ‘Irresponsible’ and ‘Unsafe’

The image from Miu Miu’s Fall 2011 ad campaign picturing 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld sitting on railroad tracks is now under fire by the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency for portraying a minor in an “unsafe position.” Steinfeld is photographed wiping one eye, her sad expression apparently sparking complaints linking the image to youth suicide. The ASA criticized Prada as “irresponsible because it depicted a child in an unsafe location…the ad must not appear again in its current form.” Prada defended its advertisements, arguing it is a “serious, high-fashion campaign aimed at adult women.” The images of Steinfeld on and by the railroad tracks were based on the set of an imaginary film and meant to portray her waiting for the next scene to begin. In addition, they stated that Steinfeld was not pictured crying or upset, rather, with a “wistful and thoughtful face.” The photos were taken on an abandoned railroad track and Steinfeld “could have easily moved from where she was sitting because she was not restrained in any way.”

The above image was banned in the UK.

Do you think the ASA was justified in banning Miu Miu’s ad campaign?