10 Fashion ads that crossed the line and got banned

By Visitor NickBertak
Advertisers use different tactics to reach their targeted audience but some go over the line in their "mission" to shock people and make them remember the brand. Fashion and beauty brands are not exception. There were a number of cases when fashion ads were banned because of scandalous, unethical or sexually suggestive nature but, nevertheless, ended up on the web, available to almost everyone. 

1. American Apparel

Let's start with American Apparel. Many of American Apparel ads were either extremely controversial or unethical thus had to be banned by the Advertising Authority. 
For instance "Made in Bangladesh" ad.  In this ad the brand is not referring to the jeans but to the model. This caused stir in 2014 but the company explained that the idea behind this was to raise awareness about unfair labor practices towards garment workers in Bangladesh. However, the decision remained unchanged. 

source: Fashionista

Three more ads from American Apparel that were provocative and caused a lot of controversy leading to a ban. 

source: Ny Daily News

                                                                          source: Ny Daily News

source: Ny Daily News

Check our the full list of American Apparel banned ads here

2. Diesel

Series of Diesel ads called "Be stupid" were banned by the UK's Advertising Standard Authority in 2011 (ASA). ASA explained that ads are "indecent and could be seen by children leading to bad behaviour." However, Diesel disagreed with the decision  claiming that "ads didn't contain any provocative nudity beyond the usual amounts shown in many swimwear, sportswear or lingerie ads." 

Source: huffingtonpost

                                                                          Source: huffingtonpost

3. Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana's ad from 2007 was banned  by Advertising Self-Discipline Institute which claimed that the ad 'offended dignity of the woman, in the sense that the feminine figure is shown in a degrading manner'. 

Source: Metro

4. Gucci

This Gucci ad was banned as ASA claimed it featured 'unhealthy thin ' model. Though Gucci stated that the ad was aimed at an 'older, sophisticated' audience, the image of the model has been called 'irresponsible' and further use is banned. 

Source: Independent

5. Prada

Prada's Miu Miu ad was banned by ASA, being called  'irresponsible' and  'inappropriately sexualising a model' who appeared to be a child. Though Prada confirmed that Mia Goth, model featured in the ad is 22-year- old actress and model, the decision remained unchanged.  

                                                                                   Source: BBC 

Another ad by Prada was banned in 2011 for almost same reason. ASA stated "We considered that her youthful appearance, in conjunction with the setting and pose, could give the impression that the ad presented a child in a sexualised way. Therefore, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was likely to cause serious offence."

Source: BBC 

6. Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein's 2010 ad featuring Dutch model Lara Stone was banned in Australia for being 'Suggestive of violence and rape.


Another ad by Calvin Klein that caused stir was 1995 campaign, deemed to be too provocative  resembling child pornography. Due to many complaints, Justice Department had to investigate the case but found that none of the campaign models were under-age. 

Source: Buzzfeed

7. Tom Ford

2007 'Tom Ford for men' campaign comes to prove the idea that 'sex sells.' The perfume bottle featured in the campaign appears between thighs of the model in one image and pressed between breasts in another. Surprisingly, this ad got banned only in Italy and not in the UK where ASA almost always bans ads with similar graphic sexual nature. 

Source: The whale and the rose

8. Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs' 2011 campaign featuring a then 17-year-old Dakota Fanning in a mini dress and provocatively placed bottle Oh, Lola was banned in the UK by ASA. ASA considered 'the ad could be seen to sexualise the child', calling it 'irresponsible.'

source:Business Insider

9. Nobody's Child

London-based fashion brand Nobody's Child saw its ad banned by ASA after various complaints. ASA considered the ad to be 'sexually suggestive' as model appeared to look like a child. Nobody's Child brand confirmed that the model is 21 years old, however ASA banned it on the ground that the ad is likely 'to cause serious or widespread offence.'

source: dailymail

10. Marithe and Francois Girbaud

A campaign by Marithe and Francois Girbaud banned in 2005 had more of a religious context. In their ad for jeans the company redesigned the 'Last Supper' famous painting with mainly female models and only one male model portraying John, wearing jeans and partially naked. Hundreds of complainants slammed the brand saying that the ad diminishes the value of Last Supper and offends belief of billions of people.   

source: the inspiration room

Do you consider these ads as somewhat offensive or, on the contrary, you think these ads are pretty entertaining and memorable? 

Share your opinion in the comments! 

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