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ASA bans American Apparel ad

Watchdog bans ad as model 'appears' to be under the age of 16.


ASA bans American Apparel ad

Watchdog bans ad as model 'appears' to be under the age of 16.

The ASA banned the ad, which featured a half-naked girl in a progressive number of poses, because it could be seen to “sexualise a model who appeared to be a child under the age of 16”.
As a result, the ASA concluded that the advertisement “could cause serious offence to some readers”.

The ad appeared on the back cover of Vice magazine, was headlined "FLEXFLEECE Ryan wears the classic unisex Flex Fleece zip hoody ...". Below were two rows each consisting of three photographs of a young looking girl wearing the hoody and looking directly at the camera. In the first row, she was wearing the hoody zipped up and appeared to be wearing underpants. In one photograph, she was wearing big-framed glasses.

In the second row, she was wearing the hoody unzipped and was naked underneath. She was wearing underpants and wore the glasses in two of the photographs. In the last photograph, her left nipple was partially exposed. The ASA concluded that it was inappropriate and could cause serious offence to some readers.

The ASA said the ad must not appear again in its current form.

Brent Chase, American Apparel's UK operations manager said "American Apparel is well known for its provocative advertisements. Our models are real girls who are often employees or friends of the company. They do their own hair and makeup and aren't Photoshopped. From time to time people are made uncomfortable by this, and it occasionally causes an unfortunate reaction."

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