US clothing brand's ad banned in UK for sexualizing model who looks like kid
Britain's advertising watchdog has banned a US clothing company's ad, that appeared to sexualize young girls in its fashion commercial.
The ad by American Apparel shows a pantless model in a sweater and knee-high socks curled up on an office chair.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), that has targeted the company before, said the image "inappropriately sexualized a model who appeared to be a child and was therefore irresponsible," the New York Daily News reported.
The watchdog said that the model's demure expression in the ad could be interpreted as "having sexual undertones and a voyeuristic quality."
The controversial clothing company countered by saying that the advertisement appeared on the back of Vice Magazine, a publication for adults.
The model in question was 23 years old when the photograph was taken in winter of 2011 and happened to be the photographer's girlfriend, an American Apparel representative said.
"It's unfortunate that the ASA has made this ruling as our models are of age and were featured in VICE magazine, a publication clearly intended for mature, fashion forward audiences," the company said in a statement.
"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 recognized for its artistic and social values," they said.