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.

or
clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

American Apparel Ads Are Too 'Gratuitously' Sexy for Britain Again

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 Vox.com, 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.


Too sexy for the Anglos

American Apparel might love sexy basics, but they hate learning lessons. For the third time this year, Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the retailer's ads thanks to complaints that models appear "vulnerable and overtly sexual, with the photographs objectifying women," according to the Huffington Post UK.

For one image, an ad for thigh-high socks in which the model is photographed from the shoulders down (see it here), the ASA explained, "Although we considered it was reasonable for ads for hosiery to feature women in limited clothing, we considered the images and the model's poses were gratuitous. We considered the images were overtly sexual and that they demeaned women by emphasizing the model's groin, buttocks and breasts and by not including her face."

And for the image shown above, "We considered the image to be gratuitous, particularly in an ad for knitwear. We also considered the model's facial expression appeared blank, if not unsure, and were concerned that she appeared vulnerable. We considered the image was overtly sexual." And "For the reasons given, we considered the ads were likely to cause serious offense to visitors to American Apparel's website."

American Apparel told the ASA that "they did their best to abide by the standards of the industry as well as creating authentic, honest and memorable images relevant to their customer base."
· American Apparel Adverts Banned: 'Sexual And Objectifying' Images Show Models Half Naked [HuffPo]
· This is How to Get an American Apparel Ad Banned [Racked]