American Apparel’s raunchy ad banned from website

American Apparel ad, MumbrellaThe Advertising Standards Bureau has upheld a complaint made about an in-house advertisement on American Apparel’s website, branding the images as being too “suggestive” and “sexualised”.

The ad is a slideshow described as “Liz, American Apparel Melbourne Retail Employee”.  

The images include the young woman wearing a number of advertised products in zebra stripe pattern, a red top and a yellow top.

The woman is photographed in a bedroom scene. In one image her entire breast is exposed. In other images she is lying on a bed, sitting on a bed and standing with her back to the camera.

Complaints made about the ad included that it could pass as “amateur pornography”. American Apparel declined to respond to the ruling and has withdrawn the ads from its website.

The ASB ruled:

The Board determined that these images did not treat sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and that the images breached section 2.3 of the Code.”

Section 2.3 states that advertisements “shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and, where appropriate, the relevant programme time zone”.

American Apparel ads of the same theme gained much criticism last year. An ASB spokeswoman said at the time it received complaints about the ads, but it was not able to launch a formal investigation as the complainants failed to provide the ASB with the URL to the specific ads.

Meanwhile, last year in the UK a press ad for American Apparel was deemed “irresponsible” by the Advertising Standards Authority for featuring a young woman partially naked.


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