P Diddy is launching a new fragrance under his Sean John brand called 3am, with an advert that had to be heavily cut before a department store was prepared to show it at the launch event, and then cut again for TV. P Diddy told Style.com that the perfume advert is about love rather than sex - and it features his girlfriend Cassie Ventura. However, there will be those who wonder at this particular depiction of 'love'.
Page Six said the full length advert was so 'provocative' that the store was concerned about young customers seeing it. It added that the edits it required almost delayed the launch of the perfume.
The advert is by no means suitable for all audiences. Among the most controversial elements are him choking his girlfriend and simulating sex with her.
It's not the first time he has chosen a provocative advert for his perfume. In 2007 an advert showing the rapper cavorting with a lingerie-clad model on the stairs was banned in the US for being too explicit. It was, however, shown in the UK.
He said at the time that he felt that people should be able to watch the advert themselves, and make up their own mind over whether it was too explicit. Unfortunately it begs the question of how people would be able to 'unsee' it, if they decide it's not their cup of tea.
There will be those who admire the 'story telling' of the advert, which shows him arriving in the first scene, and rushing to see his girlfriend, who then slaps him in the face. We then have some clear images of her anger, including sweeping a fruit bowl off the kitchen surface, and pushing him away. Eventually, however she changes her mind, strips off, poses in the nude, and finally goes to bed with him.
There will be others who may be uncomfortable with this portrayal of a loving relationship, where her dissatisfaction is expressed by slapping him in the face - immediately followed by one with his hand around her throat. The final shot of her hands around his throat as they simulate sex is certainly one that may stay in the minds of more sensitive viewers.
There will be others who note just how much of the advert the 45-year-old rapper spends in his suit (the vast majority of it), and how much his 28-year-old girlfriend spends naked (again, the majority). You could almost argue there's a slight hint of the objectification of women.
Does it matter?
Of course, none of this is new in the music industry. You don't have to look far for images of rappers who portray a naked woman on their arm as an object with exactly the same value as their designer suit. If you choose to watch a music video channel, you're not going to be surprised by this sort of imagery. It's just that this is an advert, which means it comes uninvited into family homes.
Diddy, meanwhile, has said that he expects people to think it's racy and provocative but also that it's beautiful, telling Style.com: "That whole interaction has nothing to do with sex as much as it has to do with love."
But what do you think? Would you be happy watching this advert with your family? Is it a worrying sign of the portrayal of women in the music industry, or is it just a 'sexy' bit of storytelling that shouldn't be taken so seriously?
Let us know in the comments.
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