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American Apparel Responds to British Ban, Claims Vice Readers Are “Mature”

As I wrote last week, Britain's ad watchdog agency, the Advertising Standards Authority, banned an American Apparel ad which ran in Vice magazine after it received complaints that it appeared to sexualize a child. 

There are some new developments: 

Even though American Apparel had already confirmed that the photographed model was over eighteen, the retailer's Marketing Director, Ryan Holiday*, provided additional details to WWD

“The model was 23 when the photo was taken in winter of 2011, and she was — continues to be the longtime girlfriend of the photographer [Henrik Purienne]." 

Purienne's photo shtick has been called "fashion porn" (emphasis, I think, on the "porn" part), and he describes his relationships with his models as "basically like a mullet… business in front, party in the back."

The longer statement from American Apparel: “It’s unfortunate that the ASA has made this ruling as our models are of age and were featured in Vice magazine, a publication clearly intended for mature, fashion-forward audiences. We’ll abide by this ruling as we have in the past with similar ASA decisions, but American Apparel will not be altering our classic advertising aesthetic which is internationally recognized for its artistic and social values." 

Haha, American Apparel thinks it has a "classic" aesthetic and "artistic and social values." 

*Holiday also works as an adviser to Tucker Max (if you're not familiar, all you need to know is that the first sentence of his very honest bio reads, "My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.") and wrote a book actually titled Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.