At first glance, this commercial shot featured on La Redoute’s website seems innocent enough; a group of child models having fun at the beach, cute t-shirt and shorts combos, beautiful rocky coastline, oh, and a bit of full frontal nudity on the side.
As unrealistic as it sounds, this controversial image from the French retail giant claims to be an accident – but the team at Models Direct can’t help but be dubious.
We know what you’re thinking, surely no one would be stupid enough to conjure up this lethal mix of children and nudity, but even if a completely naked passerby did manage to go unnoticed by the photographers, marketing team, and the person responsible for uploading it to the website, surely a typically vigilant re-toucher would have caught it?
But apparently not. When the uproar began to develop and the mistake supposedly came to their attention, the retailer pulled the image and issued an apology on Facebook. Roughly translated it read: “La Redoute would like to apologise for the photo published on its website and is doing what is necessary to delete it. We have decided to delete all the posts containing this photo. We are aware that it might offend some internet-users. We will strengthen the oversight processes of all the different communication channels of the brand so this cannot happen again.”
Accident or not, this image has evoked both outrage and amusement. While comments below the firm’s Facebook apology revealed that most found it funny, some suggested it was intentional, perhaps for a PR stunt or perhaps because beach nudity is the norm among the generally liberal French. “Don’t pretend you didn’t do it on purpose, all your photos go through a retoucher, come on!” one comment read.
With the notorious French Vogue shoot, featuring child model Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau dolled up to the nines, followed by Jours Après Lunes’s campaign images of young girls dressed in lingerie, this mistake from La Redoute won’t do much for the French fashion industry’s already tainted image. But then, at least this one wasn’t on purpose…we hope!