Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Calvin's Controversy

It seems like just yesterday when Calvin Klein stirred up controversy with his jeans commercial starring Brooke Shields purring "you want to know what comes between me and my Calvins, nothing". That was 1980 and the motto, the more things change, the more they stay the same, echos some truth. A fifty foot billboard ,in Soho, NYC, features a barely clothed denim clad female and a male kissing on a sofa. Another man is on the couch lying back , waiting or watching. Yet another man is on the floor with no clothes except a pair of unzipped jeans. Some people have been interviewed and say it is inappropriate. Others think America is too puritanical and the more publicity the billboard gets , the more sales and attention is drawn over something "harmless". The commercials in the 80's drove CK jeans sales up into the millions. In 1995, there was another series of ads banned featuring teens against a wall, while an older male voice asked them suggestive questions. Two perfume ads, one for Escape starring Milla Jovovich and another with Eva Mendes for Secret Obsession were deemed too risque for TV. Klein plays with the theme of Lolitaesque innocence and sexuality, but when do these ads cross the line between tasteful and semi-pornographic?

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