British advertising watchdog The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has criticised fashion house Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) for a campaign that seems to glamourise knife-related violence.

The ASA upheld more than 160 complaints over the adverts, which appeared in The Times and The Daily Telegraph newspapers, and which showed models brandishing knives and wounds.

It agreed that some of the knives were wielded "aggressively" and that the pictures could be viewed as condoning knife-related violence.

The ASA backed complaints that the advert in The Times was particularly likely to cause widespread offence as it was featured opposite an article on knife-related crime.

The watchdog has subsequently reminded the Italian fashion firm that it must use a degree of responsibility when designing adverts. It also warned The Times it must be more careful with advert placement.

A complaint saying the images would encourage self-harm was not upheld, however.

D&G has defended the adverts, explaining the poses are stylised and are inspired by French artist Eugene Delacroix.

But Dee Edwards, founder of campaigning organisation Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMAA), told just-style the ASA's condemnation of the adverts was extremely pleasing.

Edwards said MAMAA has attempted to discuss the issue with D&G on several occasions but "nobody wanted to talk to us about it".

"They say the advert is a fantasy, but gun and knife crime is completely out of control in this country", she continued, arguing she "could not make the connection with violence and fashion".

"The fashion industry is there to shock and I don't know why," she added.

MAMAA also points out that fashion firms, like a lot of celebrities, "have a platform to do so much good and they always do something negative".

Edwards emphasised that she did not believe somebody would go out and kill someone just because of the images, but pointed out that the worst outcome is the high level of offence they are causing to families who have suffered due to knife crime.