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Tits, Ass And American Apparel’s Backlash

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Update – 12/03/07 – American Apparel Shows Some Real T&A

Just last night, we verbally exploded all over our poor cab driver when we saw one of American Apparel’s billboards, which looked very similar to the one above. All ass, all over the place kinda like it was a cover shot for pseudo-porn mag Smooth. We’re not the only ones foaming at the mouth, as there seems to be a revolution picking up steam right here in New York City.

Before moving on let’s review shall we? AA has always had sexy advertising featuring both women and (occasionally) young men in tightly fitted cotton garb. In the beginning, the ads were sexual, but not over the top with a focus on the company’s sweatshop free products. As the years went on, the sexy ads became down right lurid. And so… press stunts like hiring porn star Lauren Phoenix to star in a new ad campaign and CEO Dov Charney’s four sexual harassment lawsuits are beginning to turn folks away. Yes, same store sales are up. The clothing retailer reported net income of $6 million, compared with a loss of $2.1 million in the previous year [CNN]. However, a revolt takes time and the evidence is mounting.

The first picture below is of a billboard on the Lower East Side in New York City. The graffiti reads: “Gee, I wonder why women get raped?” The second picture is a fake ad, which many folks including Copyranter, thought was the real deal. This social commentary paste-up reads: “Safe to say she loves her socks.” When porn parodies of your ads begin to appear around town and folks think your brand could actually be responsible, well… um… you’ve got a problem on your hands.

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Bloggers and journalists are getting in on the backlash:

From The Kentucky Kernel: “Sweatshop labor is oppressive and unethical, but so is the exploitation of women in the media.”

From Newsweek: “They are sending the message that social responsibility is about money alone—as long as you pay the women inside the factory a legal wage you’re absolved from exploiting them in other ways.”

From the blog The Sardonic Sideshow: “I’ve never liked the ad campaigns for AA. It’s not that I am afraid of sexy images of 15 year old girls. It’s just that you can only be so edgy until you fall off into parody.”

From the blog Consumerist: Because we loathe the peculiar iteration of kiddie porn that passes for American Apparel’s advertising…”

From the blog I’m Sick Of Your Insane Demands: “The disturbing part is that she looks to be about 12 years old. No hips, no body hair, no breasts–just kiddie porn disguised as advertising.”

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