American Apparel Ads Banned … Again
American Apparel's board fired CEO Dov Charney over allegations of misconduct. Fans of the retail chain rejoiced, tired of Charney's inappropriate behavior. Consumers were told it was a fresh start for the company, that John Luttrell, American Apparel's interim CEO, was the "anti-Dov Charney" of CEOs. After having ads banned five times in the last two-and-a-half years by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the company would start new and, hopefully, stay away from from its marketing strategy of inappropriately sexualizing young women. Think back, all the way to … June.
Well, it only took a little over two months for American Apparel to go back to its old ways, and no one is surprised.
This week, the U.K.'s ASA banned two online American Apparel back-to-school ads for sexualizing school girls. The images, which have since been removed, were posted to the retailer's website and Instagram feed. The in-house ads started creating a social media uproar nearly a month ago, compelling the ASA to take action.
"We considered the ads had not been prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers or to society," the ASA ruled.
"The retailer said its approach was not graphic, explicit or pornographic, and was designed to show a range of people who were natural and real," according to an article that appeared in Ad Age. "The company also justified the ads by saying that models are not portrayed in a manner that was vulnerable or exploitative, and that the model was 30 years old."
American Apparel also claimed the images were posted by an inexperienced member of its social media team, and the company says it draws a firm distinction between print and online advertising because those online can "opt to view the images … " In addition to blaming its social media staff and social community, American Apparel released information on its website blaming Dov Charney.
"According to CNN, Charney was entitled to stay on as a ‘consultant’ and receive his full base salary after being removed as CEO. American Apparel's website stated he oversaw the majority of the company's ‘creative content,’ which includes adverts," reported Yahoo News.
The ASA, like most of the general public, rejected the company's poor attempt at justifying the scandalous images.
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