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10th Aug 2022

PrettyLittleThing ad removed for portraying girl in “sexual manner”

The ad is gone.

PrettyLittleThing has had an ad removed after it was found that a child was “sexualised” in a TikTok campaign.

Travis Barker’s daughter Alabama appeared in an ad campaign for the brand at only 16 years old, appearing to be seen in sexually suggestive poses and clothing.

According to the Advertising Standards Association (ASA), the company was warned by them that future ads must not include images that “portrayed or represented anyone who was, or seemed to be, under 18 in a sexual manner”.

The images also appeared on the website in June of this year as the new brand ambassador modelled her Y2K Edit clothing collection.

“Channel that teen dream realness with barely-there micro mini skirts,” the text on the ad said.

The images showed the teenager wearing a tight-fitting short dress while sucking a lollipop and one where she is in a low-cut short dress spraying a hose.

One page said: “Nail the latest trends and team a cropped varsity jacket with a mini skirt and knee-high boots for a date with your best dolls or flaunt your curves in a white figure-hugging dress.”

Laws that prohibit the sexualisation of under-18s were brought in in 2017, and they also impact those who appear to be in that age range.

A complaint was made and challenged if the ad was in breach of the regulations, with her age confirmed by PrettyLittleThing who claimed they were trying to promote body positivity and confidence in young women.

They said they did not intend to sexualise Alabama and disagreed that it came across this way.

They also said that the ad had been approved by Alabama herself and was similar to the photos she posts on her own social media.

The ASA said a number of her poses and the accompanying text was likely to be seen as sexual and the phrase “channel that teen dream realness” proved she was of a young age.

“Given the above, we considered that the ad depicted a person who was under 18 in a sexual way, and we therefore concluded it was irresponsible and breached the code,” the watchdog said.