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American Apparel in trouble for 'sexist' ad campaign

A series of ads featuring a unisex flannel shirt causes a stir.

By Kim Anne May 16, 2013 9:07PM

Photos: American Apparel
It seems that quite a few clothing companies are getting themselves in hot water these days. After last week’s Abercrombie & Fitch scandal and this week’s viral video created to get revenge on the company, now it’s fashion brand American Apparel that is getting the backlash. The company is under fire for the “sexist,” “sleazy” and “degrading ads for a unisex shirt.

According to the Daily Mail, the digital campaign features “provocative images of half-naked women sporting the unbuttoned plaid top in a series of highly sexualized poses – often wearing no underpants or just a pair of tiny G-strings – while the male models involved in the campaign are fully clothed and sombre.”Photos: American Apparel

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Consumers are not pleased, calling the brand out as being degrading, but American Apparel disagrees, claiming the ads are just “artistic.” 

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“As a company, American Apparel is very sensitive to gender and sexual issues, just as we have been to issues like immigration and gay marriage,” said a representative for the brand. “In this case, the actual product model photo for this unisex item is fully clothed for women, just as it is for men. Unfortunately, some bloggers have confused an artistic photoshoot which accompany the pages with a product shot and a controversy erupted as a result.”

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The representative added that the brand is known for this type of advertising. “American Apparel is well known for its provocative imagery, artistic photographs and its stance on free expression within the fashion industry. Our style deliberately eschews the Photoshopped and impossibly unreal aesthetics of many of our competitors. We don't think there is anything in these photos out of sync with our standards, and we think they portray the garments and the models in an attractive way and are not even the slightest discriminatory. Clearly we'd never seek to upset anyone, and we're sorry to anyone who is upset.”

Tell us: Do these ads offend you?

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Photos: American Apparel

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