American Apparel taken to task over offensive adverts

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RETAILER American Apparel has again flouted advertising regulations with images of women in vulnerable poses “likely to cause serious offence” , a watchdog has ruled.

The US clothing brand, which has regularly used exploitative images of young women, posted six photos on its website of a model in a body­suit and thigh-high socks on a bed without her face shown, from the front showing her legs open or in a kneeling or reclining position.

Others, which carried text saying the model was a store consultant, showed her wearing only a jumper while her bottom half appeared naked, reclining on a bed with her legs in the air.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated a complaint the ads were offensive because they were overtly sexual and objectified women.

Responding to the complaint, American Apparel said it “did its best” to abide by industry standards.

Of the first ad, the ASA noted: “Although we considered it was reasonable for ads for hosiery to feature women in limited clothing, we considered the images and model’s poses gratuitous.

“The images were overtly sexual and demeaned women by emphasising the model’s groin, buttocks and breasts and by not including her face.”

It ruled the second ad for knitwear was overtly sexual and gratuitous, and by portraying a blank-faced model suggested she was vulnerable.