American Apparel Fires Back At ASA For Banned Ads

We’re pretty quick to lob blame at American Apparel when it comes to their questionable advertising practices, and we’re certainly not the only ones, given how many of the brand’s ads have been banned in the United Kingdom. But while we would have said the readiness to judge has something to do with the many sexual harassment lawsuits launched against its CEO, Dov Charney, combined with the fact that the ads tend to feature half-naked young women in various sexually suggestive poses, word from corporate HQ suggests there may in fact be a conspiracy at work over at the Advertising Standards Authority. Oooooh, juicy!

Following the news that yet another set of AA images was deemed “inappropriate” by the UK standards board, an anonymous source tells Racked that they are hardly the ones pulling the publicity stunts:

“We’d like to shoot down the idea that American Apparel is trying to make ads that get banned for publicity. It’s the other way around. The ASA grandstands on the AA name to get publicity and that’s why they repeatedly come after the company. I think the fact that the ‘ads’ in this case weren’t even ads but images on our website makes that pretty clear. How can this agency have any say over what a company displays on its site? We’ve been doing these ads for 10 years. Who are they to say what is and isn’t appropriate?”

Far be it from us to take the side of Dov and co., but the source makes many solid points, especially when you consider the following:

“From what we hear, the ASA is stepping stone for politicians and such in the UK. So it’s a nice way to get press, going after things no one would really want to defend. If you think about it, it’s a pretty alarming precedent. A non-government agency decides not only what is or isn’t ok, but they decide what is or isn’t an ad. In this case, americanapparel.net is an ad, and their means of enforcing the rules are quarterly press releases. The media LOVES this stuff and the ASA knows it. We don’t even run into this kind of trouble in China with our ads. It’s nuts.”

What do you think? Should we be concerned about the censorship? Or was the ASA right to add them to their pile of banned campaigns?

See the latest set of offending shots below and let American Apparel know what you think on open discussion on their Facebook page:

[Racked]

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