Yesterday, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled in favor of a complainant who claimed that two ads from American Apparel’s website were offensive because they sexually objectified women.
It’s not exactly new territory for the L.A. based brand, which has received complaints about its provocative advertising for years.
Still, it’s the second time the ASA has come down on American Apparel for images that live only on the brand’s website–not in a magazine or on a billboard. A source in American Apparel’s marketing department accuses the ASA of simply banning them to get attention. (Pot, kettle, black, etc.)
“The ASA knows that ‘banning’ an American Apparel ad will get headlines so they use the company to get press for themselves,” the source says. (Case in point? This story right here.)
And even though American Apparel also gets publicity when one of its ads gets banned (and it know better than anyone that all press is good press), the ruling means it’s still a pain in the ass overall. After an image or ad gets banned by the ASA, the offending brand is required to pull the ad or modify it. If Brits keep complaining about American Apparel’s website, it could be a real nuisance for the brand that has relied on provocative imagery to shill its cotton goods for as long as it’s been around.