June 24, 2014

ACTION: Stop American Apparel’s porn ads

We need your help to fight porn in advertising.


American Apparel CEO, Dov Charney, has been fired. We hope this comes as a wake-up call to the company to change their advertising strategy.

Let us explain:

Mr. Charney has been removed over myriad reports of sexual harassment and exploitation of his fellow employees and subordinates.

This hyper-sexual attitude is reflected in their advertising campaigns.

MIM_Graphic_American Apparel_1The current advertising strategy normalizes the sexual objectification of women. American Apparel ads regularly feature women with only one article of clothing, sometimes just socks or panties. They are posed in extremely sexual positions with an emphasis on their barely covered, or uncovered, genitals, breasts or buttocks. In several ads, the women appear to be masturbating. In other ads, they are dressed to resemble highly sexualized children.

See more examples here. (WARNING: Graphic)

Unfortunately for American Apparel, the company seems to have fallen in public opinion over these ads and the sexual misconduct of its founder. Over the past four years, American Apparel has cumulatively lost a total of more than $100 million.

Throughout his history at American Apparel, Mr. Charney has been accused of having several sexual relationships and many more sexual encounters with staff, according to the New York Times, creating a hostile, hyper-sexual work environment.

  • One former employee sued the company after Mr. Charney coerced her into sex acts on her 18th birthday. Mr. Charney exacted revenge by having another employee post nude images and defamatory information about the young woman on a blog. Due to these images, her case was thrown out.
  • According to his termination letter, Mr. Charney bribed several victims of his sexual advances with “significant” severance packages for their silence, to “protect [himself] from personal liability for misconduct.”

Following the removal of Mr. Charney, we would like to take these events as an opportunity to encourage American Apparel to re-examine their advertising techniques and brand identity. Perhaps in light of these allegations against Mr. Charney, American Apparel may reconsider its use of blatantly pornographic ads.

YOU can do something about this.

You can defend dignity and oppose exploitation right in your home by

We cannot do this without your support. Help us take down mainstream porn!

Further Reading