Posted by Jennifer Wright on October 5, 2009 02:16 PM
You know what would look great on your new, beautifully tiled bathroom floor, according to ads from Italian mosaic tile company Bisazza? A bound and gagged geisha, imploring you for mercy with her big soulful eyes.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority begged to differ. They quickly yanked the ad –- though not before it had appeared in high-profile publications such as British Vogue.
Bisazza argued that bondage images are common to the work of respected Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. The regulators begged to differ, more concerned about the implicit sexual violence than the renowned artist's larger body of work.
Wallpaper magazine, who testified to the ASA on behalf of the ads, along with Vogue, noted the artist's commitment to "challenging the social taboos surrounding sex and death." Admittedly, sexual and cultural domination are themes that perhaps can, and should, be explored in art. But this is a tile company.
Most people are just worried about whether their tiles will match the wall color in the bathroom, and how hard it will be to remove soap scum from them. But then again, without this bizarre ad, what traits would consumers attach to this company? Thanks to Bisazza's ear for controversy, they are now well-established as the tile brand for all your violent fantasies.