10 April 2013 - 8:45am | posted by | 1 comment

ASA rules against ‘overtly sexual’ American Apparel ad

ASA rules against ‘overtly sexual’ American Apparel adASA rules against ‘overtly sexual’ American Apparel ad
ASA rules against ‘overtly sexual’ American Apparel ad

Advertising regulator the ASA has moved to bar further use of ‘offensive’ and ‘overtly sexual’ imagery on the website of clothing retailer American Apparel following an official complaint from a woman who felt the adverts made the models appear ‘vulnerable’.

One ad, headed ‘Bodysuits and Thigh-Highs’, sported six images of a woman in a black lycra bodysuit and thigh high socks adopting a number of different poses in bed, including two with her legs open and one of her kneeling.

A second controversial ad was titled ‘Meet Trudy’ and depicted a model wearing an oversized fisherman turtleneck sweater… and nothing else, with her legs in the air.

In their adjudication the ASA noted: “We considered there was a voyeuristic quality to the images, which served to heighten the impression that the women were vulnerable and in sexually provocative poses. For the reasons given, we considered the ads were likely to cause serious offence to visitors to American Apparel's website.”

Upholding these sentiments the ASA ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form together with a plea to the retailer to ensure future advertising contained ‘nothing that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence’.


11 Apr 2013 - 17:42

I can see why the ads they ran, where a model who appeared to be somewhat underage was partially naked and in sexually provocative poses, was better off scrapped. That's just too much of a grey area. But this? The model appears to be way over sixteen, there's no overt nudity, areas not normally seen on British TV advertising are completely covered, and she is exposing a lot less flesh then, say, the lawnmower man being ogled and treated as a sex object by a gang of women in the latest Diet Coke ad. (So to be consistent, a man who feels threatened or belittled by this should complain to the ASA?) Agreed that it's dumb adsvertising if it could be read as alienating your primary client group, though.


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