American Apparel: UK's ASA upholds complaint over ad

A complaint against American Apparel's product page for its "Lips Print Cotton Spandex Sleeveless Thong Bodysuit" has been upheld by UK industry watchdog the Advertising Standards Agency.


The ad in question - American Apparel

The complainant "challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and offensive" as the complainant thought the model in the sexualised image looked like she was younger than 16. American Apparel responded by saying that the model in question was 20 years old, and that the company believed the image was consistent with standards contained in similar ads.

However, the ASA considered that the model looked younger and also stated that the pose was likely to be interpreted as sexual and that "in conjunction with the youthful appearance of the model, we considered the ad could be seen to sexualise a child."

The ad has now been banned and cannot appear in its current form. This is far from the first time the AA has fallen afoul of the ASA. In September, the watchdog banned an AA "Back to School"  ad as "the images imitated voyeuristic 'up-skirt' shots which had been taken without the subject's consent or knowledge which, in the context of an ad for a skirt marketed to young women, we considered had the potential to normalise a predatory sexual behaviour." 
 

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