This Ad Was Banned for Making a Young Woman Look 'Sexually Suggestive'

A television ad for online fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing has been banned for portraying a young woman who appeared under 16 in a "sexually suggestive" manner.

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(Photo: Pretty Little Thing / ASA)

The ad features adult women in the middle of the desert modeling festival-themed clothes. A TV viewer reported a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the organization responsible for advertising regulations in the U.K., saying the ad was irresponsible for portraying models who appeared to be children in a sexualized manner.

The ASA told Pretty Little Things that the brand had broken the rules by being socially "irresponsible". It told the retailer not to show the ad again.

The clothing brand told the ASA that the two models in question were 23 and 24 years old and that the pieces being worn in the ad were on-trend and designed for festivals.

The ASA said that one model in particular had a "very youthful appearance" and that the combination of the models' clothes, poses and expressions meant that the ad was sexually expressive.

"We considered that the ad portrayed a model who appeared to be under 16 in a manner that was sexually suggestive," the ASA wrote. "We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and in breach of the code."

"We told Prettylittlething.com to ensure that future ads did not sexualise those who appeared to be children."

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