Britain bans ‘voyeuristic’ American Apparel upskirt ads

The Advertising Standards Authority calls out the sexism in the brand's new Back To School campaign

Fashion News
1408336042658.cached
American Apparel: "fuelling Lolita fantasies and rampant sexism aplenty"

American Apparel has come under fire again for yet another over-sexualised ad campaign. This time, the UK advertising watchdog has stepped in to ban the "sexist" and "voyeuristic" images. 

The campaign for American Apparel's "Back To School" and "School Days" ranges were targeted at high school students, and depict two young women bending over to reveal their underwear beneath pleated schoolgirl skirts. 

Feminist blogger Any Girl Friday first noticed the ads and hit Twitter to call out the brand on their blatant sexualisation of young women.

American Apparel claimed that the models were not as young as imagined, saying that one of the women depicted was actually 30 years old. The brand argued that the two models were "not portrayed in a manner which was vulnerable, negative or exploitative". 

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) begged to differ. In a statement, the organisation said: "We considered the images were gratuitous and objectified women, and were therefore sexist and likely to cause serious and widespread offence."

"Furthermore, we considered the images imitated voyeuristic 'up-skirt' shots which had been taken without the subject's consent or knowledge which, in the context of an ad for a skirt marketed to young women, we considered had the potential to normalise a predatory sexual behaviour."

The images appear to have been taken down from the company's website and off social media. 

At this point, it feels like American Apparel have had more ads banned in the UK than not – this is the sixth time in the past two and a half years that the ASA has binned AA ads for their depiction of women.  

Earlier this year, the fashion house courted controversy with its "Made In Bangladesh" campaign, featuring a topless Muslim employee named Maks.

In July, chaos hit the company behind the scenes when infamous CEO Dov Charney was ousted by his own board of shareholders. Later that month, it appointed the first woman to the board, sparking speculation that the company was ushering in a more female-friendly age. Guess that didn't last long, huh?

More Fashion