‘Degrading’ H&M swimwear ad cleared

H&M has vowed to review future advertising campaigns after a series of ads featuring models posing in the fashion retailer’s swimsuit and bikini range were accused of being “degrading” to women, the third time this year the retailer has been in the dock over the sexual nature of its ads.


The ads avoided a ban despite a flurry of complaints the five ads were offensive and unsuitable to be seen by children.

The Advertising Standards Authority, however, says that the lack of nudity and absence of “overtly sexual” expressions on the models’ faces meant they did not break ad rules on suitable imagery.

It adds: “While we considered that the poses could be seen as mildly sexual, in the context of a campaign for swimwear, we considered that they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.”

Despite avoiding a ban, H&M says it “regretted that the advertising had been perceived as offensive” and that they would take the complaints into consideration for future ad campaigns.

H&M has been in the dock three times this year over its ads. An ad for bras was accused of being “indecent and offensive” in April, while a campaign starring David Beckham in underpants attracted complaints. Both were cleared.


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