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Abercrombie & Fitch is too sexy for Singapore
That ad: It raised the heart rate (and eyebrows) of many Singaporeans: But the powers-that-be take a dim view
Is an oversized advertisement featuring a topless man with a six-pack and jeans slung way down low too risqué for clean, sterile Singapore?
The eye-catching billboard plastered on the Orchard shopfront of American fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's soon-to-be-opened Knightsbridge store has been found in breach of the local advertising code of decency.
According to a report by Marketing Magazine, earlier this week, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) is looking to suspend the ad citing its "breach of the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice guidelines on decency."
Abercrombie & Fitch is known for its controversial ad campaigns featuring semi-nude models, and while the ASAS has no legal rights to enforce its decision, the giant poster's future remains in question.
In a report by the Straits Times Indonesia, media and entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow pointed out that action may be taken by the Media Development Authority (MDA). He added that under Singapore's Undesirable Publications Act, the MDA may enforce the removal of the ad if it finds that the photographic image exploits human nudity.
What's curious though is the timing of this call for suspension.
The advertisement was, um, erected in June, and has already been seen (and talked about) by many Singaporeans.
"What really surprised me was the speed of ASAS' response -- the ad's suspension was many weeks after it was posted, so it had already achieved the desired effect," JCDecaux Singapore CEO Ashley Stewart told Marketing Magazine.
Naturally, news of the ad's possible suspension has provoked Straits Times' netizens to comment furiously in its favor.
"Yes, we should complain. How can you tease us like that with the pants slung so low and offer nothing else? Not even a strip of fuzz? It's indecent of A&F to leave their ads like that. COMPLAIN!"
"Oh come on Singapore ... stop being very conservative! Just accept the shirtless man as a piece of art. We're in the 21st century, for goodness sake."
"Well, this is stupid. Probably if the model doesn't have rock hard abs and tugs at his jeans then this wouldn't had made the news. So does this mean that guys wearing swimming trunks are indecent too?"
So, exactly who is this ad offending again? Stay tuned.