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American Apparel to tone down 'overtly sexual' advertising and focus on social issues

American Apparel is to set down its "overtly sexual" advertising strategy and instead focus on social issues such as gay rights and anti-bullying, according to its new chief executive Paula Schneider.

The newly proposed marketing signals a dramatic turnaround from the fashion retailer's previous strategy, which was regularly blasted by ad watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for its risqué campaigns when under the control of disgraced founder and former CEO Dov Charney. Schneider took over the role last December.

Speaking about overhauling American Apparel's image in an interview with Bloomberg she said: “It doesn’t have to be overtly sexual. There’s a way to tell our story where it’s not offensive. It is an edgy brand. And it will continue to be an edgy brand.”

Schneider did however reveal that the brand will still maintain some of its racy side. "It has to be a little sexy," she said. "We sell lingerie. We sell hosiery. You just make sure we aren’t crossing the line. It should be about empowering women, empowering people."

There are also plans to highlight the fact that American Apparel's clothing is all made in America and pays factory workers a greater wage than rival companies that operate overseas.