Clothing store chain American Apparel was once again facing backlash from consumers on Thursday, this time for a provocative ad featuring a mini-skirt clad female model bending over a car.
The controversial ad, which was posted in a “back to school” section of the retailer’s U.K. Instagram account recently, has since been taken down after the nearly up-skirt shot was accused on social media of, among other things, “fueling Lolita fantasies.”
One mother told KTLA the ad was “too offensive for me as a mom.”
Another woman compared it to “soft porn,” and likened it to something seen in a strip club.
“It promotes the wrong image to any girl,” Nicole Brock said.
Some expressed concern about the greater social implications of the oversexualization of women and girls in advertising.
“It propagates this kind of rape culture that I don’t think people are aware of,” one woman, who did not give her name, said.
When it comes to marketing and advertising though, American Apparel is no stranger to controversy, and some of the Los Angeles-based company’s racier ads have even been banned abroad.
A number of images from the company depict models who are topless, in various state of undress or wearing see-through clothing.
“That’s how they are, like they’re going to show nude photos,” another unidentified woman said.
Others even considered the marketing to be genius, noting retweets and controversy have grabbed attention that could potentially outweigh the risk of losing offended shoppers.
KTLA has reached out to American Apparel for comment, but as of Thursday night, the company has not responded.