April 29th, 2001
To whom it concerns:
The first in our compelling campaign, this ad features Laetitia Casta caught in a spider web. However, this no ordinary spider web (since nothing is ordinary in magical world Diamond.com). This web spun entirely of the world’s most beautiful diamonds. Laetitia seems to be captivated she may never want to leave. This ad was chosen to capture the irresistible combination of glamour, sensuality and unsurpassed selection Diamond.com has to offer.
THIS IS WHAT THE CONSUMER SEES:
Decked out is one way to describe the naked woman lying entangled in a web of diamonds. This ad however shows a woman TRAPPED in the web. She is sleeping and appears to be content despite being tied down, left outdoors, naked and alone. She is defenseless and weak; she is PREY. She is an OBJECT. The scenery only GLAMORIZES ENTRAPMENT. The background is mesmerizing, however, the visual message is sexist as it OBJECTIFIES a woman, EXPLOITS her body, displays her in a PASSIVE manner, and holds her AGAINST HER WILL. YOUR LITTLE ANECDOTE GIVES THE WRONG IDEA ~ SHE MAY NEVER WANT TO LEAVE. I suggest you change it to WE WON’T LET HER LEAVE EVEN IF SHE WANTS TO. The diamonds, although they are the reason for the display, simply serve as a backdrop to the REAL IMAGE of a VULNERABLE WOMAN, exploited and existing for the male gaze. It’s hard to understand exactly how diamonds will sell when a naked woman is the focus of your ad campaign. This image would only appeal to you male viewers or a woman with a rape-fantasy. The picture SCREAMS “I am all yours, come and get me. And don’t worry because I won’t be able to escape or even yell for help. I am silenced.”
Thanks for nothing.
I won’t be buying your diamonds after all.
Dear Ms. Reger,
Thank you for your emailing us with your comments. I’d like you to know that we appreciate your feedback.
The ad that you saw, as well as the entire ad campaign was intended to convey that Diamond.com is a glamorous new source for purchasing diamonds, so our agency chose striking images of supermodel Laetitia Casta that combine luxury and fantasy for the ads. It was certainly not our intention to offend anyone.
We appreciate your taking the time to express your opinion. I assure you that I’ll pass your comments along to the appropriate parties at our company. If there is anyway in which I can provide you assistance with questions about the products that we carry and the services that we provide, do not hesitate to contact me direct.
Marc A. Rossv Odimo Incorporated: Diamond.com
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