Britain’s advertising watchdog is cracking down on American Apparel again for appearing to sexualize young girls in its fashion ads.
The admonished ad, which shows a pantsless model in a sweater and knee-high socks curled up on an office chair, was banned in the UK.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which has targeted the brand several times before, says the photo “inappropriately sexualized a model who appeared to be a child and was therefore irresponsible.”
The model’s demure expression in the ad could be interpreted as “having sexual undertones and a voyeuristic quality,” it added.
The controversial clothier countered that the ad appeared on the back of Vice Magazine, a publication for adults.
The model in question was 23 years old when the photo was taken in winter of 2011 and happens to be the photographer’s girlfriend, an American Apparel rep told the Daily News.
“It’s unfortunate that the ASA has made this ruling as our models are of age and were featured in VICE magazine, a publication clearly intended for mature, fashion forward audiences,” the company said in a statement.
“We’ll abide by this ruling as we have in the past with similar ASA decisions, but American Apparel will not be altering our classic advertising aesthetic which is internationally recognized for its artistic and social values.”
– NY Daily News