PrettyLittleThing ad banned for ‘socially irresponsible’ imagery of 16-year-old model


An ad from the fashion retailer Pretty little thing was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for using “socially irresponsible” images of a 16-year-old model that portrayed her in a sexual manner.

The ASA said the retailer highlighted Alabama Barker’s young age while showing her in an array of sexually suggestive poses and attire.

The images appeared on the retailer‘s website in June, with brand ambassador Barker modeling her Y2K Edit clothing collection.

The text in the ad read, “Channel this teen dream reality with barely there micro mini skirts,” while a series of images showed Barker in a fitted short dress while sucking on a lollipop, wearing high heels and a low-cut short dress who revealed her boobs while hosing down a hose, clutching her breast with one hand and posing with her leg bent, wearing a mini skirt and knee high boots.

One page read: “Cut the latest trends and pair a cropped school jacket with a mini skirt and knee high boots for a date with your best dolls, or flaunt your curves in a white bodycon dress.”

A complainant, believing Barker to be 16, questioned whether the ad violated advertising regulations by sexually portraying someone under the age of 18.

Pretty little thing confirmed Barker was 16 when the ad was made and said she wanted to convey a message of body positivity to encourage and empower young women to embrace their bodies and build confidence.

The Company said it had no intention of sexualizing Barker and disagreed that she was portrayed in a sexual manner, adding that the ad was approved by Barker and was posted in a style similar to images on her own Instagram account be.

uphold the complaint the ASA said a number of Barker’s poses and textual references would likely be considered sexual, while the phrase “channeling the reality of a teenage dream” further highlighted her young age.

the watchdog said: “In light of the foregoing, we believe the advert portrays a person under the age of 18 in a sexual manner and we have therefore concluded that it is irresponsible and violates the Code.”

It ruled that the ad should not appear in its current form, adding: “We said so Pretty little thing to ensure future ads do not contain images depicting or depicting anyone who was or appeared to be under 18 in a sexual manner.”

Pretty little thing declined to comment further on the verdict. PrettyLittleThing ad banned for ‘socially irresponsible’ imagery of 16-year-old model

Fry Electronics Team

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