(Last Updated On May 9, 2022)
This item has been on my radar for a while and I keep hoping that a better-resolution image will appear on the internet. So perhaps someone out there has a good scan of this because I have seen this ad many times on the secondary market.
There is a long tradition of using the images of children to sell things and when the children are naked, it helps emphasize something specifically. In this case, the idea is that the watch will last a long time and this sweet little girl will still be using this reliable device even when she is grown up.
 A couple of readers have located a slightly-better version of the image which I have replaced above. Thank you, -Ron
This ad was also made in another version, still airbrushed but with less shadowing: https://archive.org/details/pb-06-68/page/153/mode/1up
And an earlier ad in the same series: https://archive.org/details/sim_seventeen_1967-12_26_12/page/59/mode/1up
I do find it interesting that this ad appeared in Playboy. Certainly that publication has no problem with nudity but I have to imagine that the juxtaposition of a nude child in an adult magazine raised some eyebrows. Some ethical concerns were also expressed about this magazine publishing nude photos of Eva Ionesco while she was still a minor. -Ron
I wonder if the manufacturer or the advertising agency automatically placed that ad into a number of magazines in which it would routinely place ads, including Playboy.
Perhaps it simply did not occur to anybody at either end that maybe an ad showing a nude child really did not belong in Playboy.
Yes, that is common practice today but magazines that were known to skirt the standards of public decency were not usually included. I don’t know what Playboy‘s reputation was at the time in the commercial community. -Ron
Back in the 90s I saw backstage photography from the movie maladolescenza featuring Eva Ionesco and the other girl.I belive it was promotional material for the movie, I think it was in Japanese. Do you know where it can be found?
Nope. I know many erotic materials in Europe were promoted in Japan. I did not know this film was one of them. -Ron
And also Brooke Shields, don’t forget. Eva was 11 and Brooke was 10. – Bob Freely
I looked into it. I had no idea the Garry Gross images were published in Playboy. Thank you. -Ron
The ad appeared in many magazines, including Seventeen and Look. As far as I can tell, what happened was that they replaced the original with the shadowed version everywhere at the same time.So it was just a little too revealing, by the standards of 1968. Apologies if the link I posted gave a misleading impression.
As for violating the standards of 1968, how ironic!
By today’s prudish, paranoid standards, that beautiful ad would absolutely not be allowed.
How on earth this particular image relates to the ad escapes me.
If you’re choosing between giving your daughter clothing or an expensive watch, you might want to reassess your priorities.
Indeed, this seems to be a cheap appeal to catch the eye. It is hard to say how purposeful the subject matter was selected. Cute kids help sell things and ad agencies so what works. The nudity seems to add some subtext of preciousness that might be associated with an heirloom. -Ron
I believe that the “joke” is supposed to be that she is so intently studying her new watch that she is unaware that what she is wearing has fallen down.
As I stated in another comment, I doubt this is really a well thought-out image. A joke would not seem to fit the solemnity of an item like this. -Ron