Urban Outfitters, get real.
The major U.S. retailer is in hot water (yet again) for photos of an underwear model with a dramatic (and possibly photoshopped) "thigh gap" that was posted to its U.K. website. In response to negative feedback (beginning with an anonymously filed complaint), the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ordered the brand to remove the image under fire from its website.
But really, this is the same company that caused uproar over its "Eat Less" V-neck tee and faux blood-spattered "Kent State University" sweatshirt (keeping it tasteful with regard to eating disorders and national tragedies—not so much the UO hallmark). At this point, the brand might be foraging for negative attention.
The ASA released a statement regarding its decision to order Urban Outfitters to remove the photo: "We considered that the model was very thin, and noted, in particular, that there was a significant gap between the model’s thighs, and that her thighs and knees were a similar width.
"We understood that Urban Outfitters' target market was young people and considered that using a noticeably underweight model was likely to impress upon that audience that the image was representative of the people who might wear Urban Outfitters’ clothing, and as being something to aspire to. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible."
While some outlets have reported that Urban Outfitters removed the thigh gap-baring image, it appears that there are still product photos featuring the same gap, same model and same body representation (one image now just seems to be more cropped).
Urban Outfitters responded to the backlash by stating the model is not "underweight" and has a 23.5 inch waistline. This response, however, suggests that the brand might be missing the point entirely.
What do you think about UO's latest controversy?