Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Advertising Standards Authority Finds American Apparel Ad In Breach

The Advertising Standards Authority has told American Apparel it may not run an ad featuring a "semi-nude" model because the woman appears to be under 16, even though the company says the woman is 23. The ASA said the woman appeared to be "stripping." Read more here. Here is an excerpt from the ASA's ruling.

We noted the model was 23 years old and had been styled without make-up to give a natural look.  We nevertheless considered that she appeared young, and in some of the pictures, looked under 16.  We did not however consider that she appeared especially vulnerable.

While the ad depicted only partial nudity, we considered that the images were provocative with the model exposing progressively more skin in each photo in the series.  We considered that the photographs suggested that she was stripping off for an amateur-style photo shoot.

Because the ad could be seen to sexualise a model who appeared to be a child, under the age of 16 years, we concluded that it was inappropriate and could cause serious offence to some readers.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clause 2.2 (Social responsibility) and 5.1 (Taste and decency).

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