American Apparel ad campaign banned

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Popular clothing brand American Apparel have found their 2011 October campaign banned in Britain for its use of 'gratuitous' images.

It was brought to the attention of Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a complaint that the eight images on the American Apparel website and free lifestyle magazine Crack, were pornographic and exploitative.

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The images of the semi-naked women showed them modelling underwear, socks and sweaters in positions that exposed their breasts and buttocks.

American Apparel insisted that the images featured "real, non-airbrushed, everyday people" who were "happy, relaxed and confident in expression and pose". They also said that they believed it was "important to judge what was and was not offensive by reference to the current times and the views of the majority of decent and reasonable people, not a small and puritanically-minded minority."

The ASA however banned all but one of the images in American Apparel's campaign, telling American Apparel that they could "not to use similar images which were exploitative of women or that inappropriately sexualised young women in future."

They argued that the majority of the images were not featuring lingerie, yet the included nudity became "focal points of the images rather than the products", and that the "voyeuristic and amateurish quality to the images" served to heighten the impression that the women in the photos were being exploited.

It's not the first time that the company has run into hot water with the ASA - it was only 2009 when their campaign was banned for using a partially nude model who appeared to be under 16.

Do you find the images in the campaign offensive and exploitative?

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