Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This is How to Get an American Apparel Ad Banned

New, 37 comments

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

The offending ad via Getty

American Apparel advertising has been making everyone feel like a skeezy perv since the early aughts, but Britain's Advertising Standards Authority decided this week was a good one to crack down. The second ban on the company's ads in a week—the latest being the photo at right, which was printed on the back of Vice Magazine—comes with the following statement:

"Whilst we acknowledged the image did not contain any explicit nudity, we considered that the amateur style of the photo, the posing of the model with her legs up on an office style chair with her knickers showing, and the unsmiling expression on the model's face meant the photo would be interpreted as having sexual undertones and a voyeuristic quality. We concluded the ad inappropriately sexualized a model who appeared to be a child and was therefore irresponsible."

After arguing that the model is over 18, and yes she is, in fact, fully clothed (unlike many of AA's ads), company reps consented to the ban, saying, "Obviously 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 recognised for its artistic and social values." Porny, yet refined.
· Second Advert Ban in a Week for American Apparel After it is Censured for Sexualising Underage Girls [DailyMail]
· Twittersphere Is Not Happy About Sandy-Themed Sales [Racked]