Sisley’s New Ad Campaign Blows


If you’re not actively involved in the fashion or modeling industry, you may hold a conception of the commonplace high fashion model that is similar to mine: stick-thin, snooty girls who party hard on the weekends and either suffer from some form of eating disorder or unhealthy drug addiction to keep their weight down.

Of course this is only a stereotype based upon a few bad examples (namely Kate Moss), but us regular girls cannot be entirely blamed for these misconceptions.

Take clothing store Sisley’s new ad campaign into account. Two models are pictured snorting lines of cocaine near the straps of a Sisley dress. They look strung out, with their eyes rolled to the back of their heads in thick black eyeliner and tight party dresses.

While Sisley’s message is (somewhat?) clear, the photo in question ignites other underlying themes besides the fact that Sisley’s clothes are addicting.

Not to be a prude, but isn’t this ad inadvertently promoting the use of cocaine? Everyone knows that coke is the rich kid’s drug, popularized by celebs and used in suburbs and cities alike by kids who have nothing better to blow (no pun intended) their money on.

Here, Sisley is acknowledging the rampant use of cocaine by people who have enough money to afford their clothes, associating it with fashion. Much like cigarette ads of the past featuring fashionably clad models, Sisley is somehow acquainting cocaine with style.

With celebrities like Lindsay Lohan already advertising for the drug, does it really need any more exposure?

Although I commend Sisley’s ad campaign for thinking outside of the box, they should be prepared to deal with a whole load of controversy that will soon be coming their way.

There is a Sisley store in the building where I work in NYC, which is frequented by many wealthy middle-aged and elderly people looking for somewhere to drop their cash. Judging by their disapproval of fashion offered at the new Bebe store nearby, I doubt they’ll be thrilled about two girls plastered on a huge billboard snorting cocaine. While their demographic is completely insignificant to the marketers at Sisley, these are the people who are purchasing clothes for their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters. Never mind the fact that this Sisley happens to be in a building where regulars include famous politicians and activists.

Oh yeah, Sisley is going to get some heat for this one.



  1. Lee says:

    I can not believe this advertisement. Who in their right mind would ever think this is stylish? When did it come out in print? I dont live in NYC and im not as up to date with fashion like the rest of you but is Sisely even popular? You said older people buy it. Maybe they are just doing this to get publicity???

  2. Dana says:

    Although I do not agree with the message that is portrayed in the advertisement, I can't help but think that people seem to be missing the point. Upon a closer look at the picture, the girls are not in fact using cocaine. They are supposed to be sniffing the dress, and are referred to as "fashion junkies". The idea behind the ad campaign is suggesting that the fashion is so great that it is almost addictive.

  3. Sharon says:

    I wrote both Sisley and Benetton using links from the article showing this advertisment)which owns Sisley regarding this ad and received email back from both saying that this it NOT their ad.

    The email says……….

    In these days surfing on Internet you may find a couple of images which are told to be part of the new Sisley advertising campaign.

    One of this images shows some girls while "sniffing a vest". The other one shows the same girls after they drunk.

    The allusion to drugs and alcohol is more than clear and you will agree with us that these pictures are really disconcerting and damage the image of the brand.

    Please be informed that the Sisley brand has nothing to do with these images and therefore we refuse to be linked with them.

    Please also note that these images infringe Benetton's rights in the Sisley trademark. Our Legal Department has therefore been retained to take all advisable actions to protect the company's rights and interests.

    The next Sisley campaign will instead have a very special testimonial, Stephanie Seymour, worldwide recognized as an icon of fashion and beauty.

    Best regards,

    Sandra Gatti

    Media and Communication

    Benetton Group

    Villa Minelli

    31050 Ponzano (TV) – Italy

    Tel. +39 0422 519959

    Fax + 39 0422 515060

  4. Chris says:

    There's no coke. They're snorting the dress itself. That's why it's brilliant.

  5. MO says:

    Has anyone seen this ad in print and not just on the internet? I'd doubt it…

    Here's what the parent company had to Say:

  6. Paris says:

    i think this ad is amazing. they're snorting the damn dress. do you see any cocaine in the picture?? no. even if it was coke, who the hell cares. prudes. i've been seeing cocaine portrayed in fashion ads for several years now. chill out.

  7. Ashley says:

    yes they are just snorting the dress itself AND even if it is implied that they are snorting coke – have you not heard of IRONY? This is what makes the ad brilliant and I think even activists should GET that message or else they are just ignorant.

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