American Apparel the American clothing company known for its racy ads, is in trouble - yet again - with a U.K. advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for printing a "voyeuristic" advertisement featuring a young-looking model revealing her underwear.
The ad, which appeared on the back cover of Vice Magazine, pictured a girl wearing a sweater, knee-length socks and underwear posing on a chair with her legs raised. Two complainants said the ad "appeared to sexualize a child" and was "offensive and irresponsible".
American Apparel argued that the average person would not find the "tame and tasteful" image offensive, according to the ASA website. The clothing company said the ad was not "overtly sexual" or inappropriate, as it was placed in an adult magazine, and the model is over 18 and wearing products intended for adult consumers.
While the ASA accepted that the ad was intended for an adult audience, they concluded it "appeared to sexualize a child" and banned the ad in the U.K.
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.”
American Apparel, known for its raw and sometimes disturbing ads, received ongoing complaints made against it in 2012 via the ASA for sexual imagery.
The ASA stated the company breached rules against social responsibility and harm and offence in the Committee of Advertising Practice Code.