|"Photo courtesy of American Apparel"
" advert featuring a model who appeared to be under 16 has come under scrutiny by the Advertising Standards Authority
The advert, which is for clothing retailer American Apparel, shows a girl wearing a hooded top, shorts and a small amount of make-up. In the series of six images, one of which showed a partially exposed nipple, the girl is seen revealing more and more skin. The ASA said: "While the ad depicted only partial nudity, we considered that the images were provocative with the model exposing progressively more skin in each photo in the series. We considered that the photographs suggested that she was stripping off for an amateur-style photo shoot.
American Apparel told the ASA that the model was aged 23 and they disagreed that she looked under 16.
"She looked directly and confidently into the camera and looked happy and relaxed in each of the photographs. She was styled wearing natural make-up but they did not consider that suggested she was under 16, nor did they believe the average person would draw that conclusion
," said the report.
The Advertising Standards Authority didn't agree with one person who said the nudity could have been seen by children and was offensive.
According to the ASA, the advert was published in a magazine called Vice which targets 18-34 year old readers. As the magazine is distributed through channels which make it hard to be seen by children the ASA said it "was not so overly gratuitous as to make it unsuitable for or likely to cause serious or widespread offence to the target audience.
" As a result, it did not breach the advertising code.
However, the ASA ruled the girl appeared to look under 16 in some of the shots: "Because the ad could be seen to sexualise a model who appeared to be a child, under the age of 16 years, we concluded that it was inappropriate and could cause serious offence to some readers.
American Apparel are not allowed to publish the same ad, in its current form, again.