American Apparel Responds to ASA Censure

Public complaints said that the offending ad appeared to sexualize a child.

FIGHTING BACK: Los Angeles-based American Apparel has responded to a ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority in Britain that banned one of its ads because of public complaints that it appeared to sexualize a child. “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. 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,” said the brand.

In a further comment, American Apparel director of marketing Ryan Holiday said, “The model [Becca] was 23 when the photo was taken in winter of 2011, and she was-continues to be the longtime girlfriend of the photographer [Henrik Purienne].”

This story first appeared in the December 17, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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