While some laws are more theory than practice, especially when it comes to advertising, the UK is developing a staunch record of keeping “inappropriate” ads out of its borders. The country’s Advertising Standards Authority has recently banned ads for plastic surgery, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs and a smaller clothing line. Now the A.S.A. is (unsurprisingly) targeting American Apparel, a company known for its advertisements featuring barely-clothed women. The above shot is from the banned campaign, and you can see more of the banned images after the cut.


You can see more of AA’s banned ads at the source. Unsurprisingly, the campaign was singled out for being, “gratuitous…pornographic and exploitative.” The strange part of the ban, however, was the reasoning that:

the particular context of images which featured nudity and sexually provocative poses, there was a voyeuristic and ‘amateurish’ quality to the images which served to heighten the impression that the ads were exploitative of women and inappropriately sexualised young women.”

While I can certainly understand the ads being nixed due to their sexual nature, doesn’t the second judgment seem a bit subjective? Sure, I look at these photos and see sexualized women, but I’m not really getting a “voyeur exploiting them” vibe, either. While some excuses for banning ads are understandable, if the A.S.A. is going to use overly-personal reasoning to make future calls, perhaps their framework needs some more thinking.

What do you think of the ads? Should they have been banned?