Calvin Klein Ad Featuring FKA Twigs Banned in the U.K. Over Nudity Complaints

ASA Rules Images as "Overly Sexualized" and Objectifying, Prompts Ban
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Calvin Klein’s ad campaign, featuring British singer-songwriter FKA Twigs, has been banned in the U.K. by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following complaints regarding nudity in one of the images.

Announced on Wednesday, the ASA deemed one of the three posters from the April 2023 campaign as portraying FKA Twigs, 36, as a “stereotypical sexual object.” The summary of the ruling highlighted that in one photo, “the side of her buttocks and half of one breast [was] exposed” in a “Calvins or nothing” advertisement. The complaint also referenced topless shots of Kendall Jenner, criticizing them as “overly sexualized.”

Two complaints received by the ASA argued that the images were “offensive, irresponsible, and inappropriate for display in an untargeted medium” for objectifying women.

The ruling further noted that the ad focused on FKA Twigs’ physical features rather than the clothing, presenting her as a stereotypical sexual object. Calvin Klein defended the campaign, stating that the ads were consistent with those published in the U.K. for many years, emphasizing the brand’s commitment to equity and equality.

FKA twigs, Paris Fashion Week.

Despite Calvin Klein’s defense, the ASA maintained its stance, asserting that the images were not in line with the clothing brand’s progressive and enlightened message. The ruling emphasized that the composition of the image directed viewers’ attention to the model’s body rather than the advertised clothing.

Calvin Klein argued that as the ads were for clothing, including underwear, a degree of nudity should be expected. However, the ASA upheld the ban, stating that the level of nudity in the images exceeded acceptable standards.

Following the controversial ad campaign, FKA Twigs joined Madonna as a special guest during the “Material Girl” singer’s Celebration Tour at London’s O2 Arena in October. Twigs shared moments from the event on Instagram, showcasing her performance and interactions with Madonna and other performers.

January 11, 2024

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