The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority has demanded that two ads for American Apparel which appear on the company’s web site “must not appear again in their current form.”
The ban stemmed from a single complaint by an unnamed woman who alleged the ads were “offensive, because she believed it was overtly sexual.”
We’ve noted before that the U.K. bans ads so prolifically that companies are almost certainly creating ads in hopes the ASA bans them, and then reaping the reward of publicity online as a result.
What’s new in this case is that there is no indication in the ASA’s case notes that the ads ever ran in the U.K. specifically. It simply states that the “Images [appeared] on the ‘advertising’ page of the website www.americanapparel.net.”
The ASA ruled against the ads because it found them sexist, not sexy:
… we considered the images and the model’s poses were gratuitous. We considered the images were overtly sexual and that they demeaned women by emphasising the model’s groin, buttocks and breasts and by not including her face.
AA defended the ads in the case.
And they’re both still available on the company’s web site. We contacted CEO Dov Charney for comment; we’ll update this post if he gets back to us.
The “banned” ads are below. They don’t technically show any untoward nudity, but they’re borderline unsafe for work.
And then this:
SEE ALSO: American Apparel’s First Profits In Years Put The CEO’s Sex Scandals In The Rearview Mirror