Condemn American Apparel For Sexist Advertising

Target: Dov Charney, American Apparel CEO

Goal: Condemn American Apparel for sexist marketing in Sweden.

American Apparel, a U.S. based clothing manufacturer, has been branded sexist by Sweden’s advertising ombudsman following a number of complaints. The complaints are a result of a recent advertising campaign marketing American Apparel’s new unisex shirt.

The advertisement shows a man wearing the shirt buttoned up, with pants on, while a woman dons the shirt unbuttoned and with only a pair of panties underneath. The rest of the ad spread is even more offensive, with women wearing nothing but the shirt, posing provocatively, often in ways that do not display the shirt as much as they display the model’s naked buttocks.

This is not the first time American Apparel has been called out for its offensive ad campaigns. The brand’s advertisements have been blocked in countries like the U.K. for inappropriate, gratuitous, and overly sexual images. The advertisements are known for sexually objectifying women models, and focusing on portraying women models as “vulnerable.” Often, ads will omit model’s faces altogether, focusing mainly on nude body parts. American Apparel’s ads for its micromesh underwear and thongs involved close-up pictures of models’ crotch areas; the garment being “advertised” was barely visible at all.

American Apparel has used this shocking advertising technique to its advantage for too long. Although banning such ads seems appropriate, it only brings more attention to American Apparel and boosts the company’s sales. The best way to battle such offensive marketing tactics is to boycott the company, and to openly condemn their sexist advertisements. Sign the petition below to condemn American Apparel for their sexist advertising, in Sweden and beyond.


Dear Dov Charney,

Recently, American Apparel was called out for its disturbingly sexist ad campaigns, following a number of complaints from Swedish consumer. The advertisements in question were marketing American Apparel’s unisex shirt, and showed a male model wearing the shirt fully buttoned and with pants on, while a female model wore the shirt unbuttoned, with only panties underneath.

This is not the first time American Apparel has been called out for its sexual objectification of women in its advertisements, and I doubt it will be the last. The double standard is blatant – men are fully clothed in advertisements, while women are invariably mostly nude. Ads with women focus on their bodies more than on the garments being advertised. This is a despicable practice and I am writing today to express my disappointment in these gratuitously sexual ads. Sexism is a shameful practice and I condemn you and your company for perpetuating it.


[Your Name Here]

Image Credit: SimonQ錫濛譙 via Flickr.

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