American Apparel’s too rude, David Beckham not rude enough for UK ad regulators

American Apparel is in the doghouse again, under the hammer from the UK’s ad regulator the Advertising Standards Authority for “pornographic and exploitative” ads showing young women in and out of their smalls.

The subsequent ban won’t bother AA one little bit as the publicity will make the company even more famous.

Just as contentiously, in some people’s eyes anyway, the ASA has cleared David Beckham’s underwear ads for H&M which show Dave squeezed into a pair of pants about three sizes too small (and possibly taking a shine to the photographer).

So what to do? UK broadcasters still have to submit their ads for vetting prior to broadcast. Why doesn’t the ASA try to insist that serial press offenders do the same? This would be a right pain in arse (or ass) for the likes of AA.

Or we could just ignore it (probably the sensible conclusion).

Anyway, here’s one of AA’s most near-the-knuckle efforts (dunno if it figured in this batch of complaints). Does she look too young?

And here’s bulging Becks (all three of him). Not quite in the same class as American Apparel, if class is le mot juste.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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