Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana said Tuesday it has decided to pull all its advertisements from Spain, after it was forced to withdraw an image condemned as sexist and violent.
The company said in a statement that it had been targeted by censorship, and had taken the step to "safeguard its creative freedom."
The ad that the company was forced to pull weeks ago, amid protests from Spanish women's groups, showed a half-naked man holding a scantily clad woman to the ground by her wrists while four other men look on.
"Recently Spain, with its climate of censorship, shows that it wants to see negative messages everywhere, even where none exist," the statement said. "Although it goes against the interest of Dolce & Gabbana, the decision to interrupt the brand's communication in this country was inevitable."
Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said in the statement that similar steps should be taken by other fashion companies that are facing criticism in Spain for their ads, reports AP.
Spain's children's rights ombudsman said Monday it had asked for a Giorgio Armani advertisement showing two young Asian girls in un-childlike poses to be withdrawn after receiving complaints. Armani said in a statement that it was "surprised and very saddened" by such an interpretation.