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PrettyLittleThing ads featuring Travis Barker's 16-year-old daughter banned in the UK for portraying the teen in a 'sexual way'

INSIDER logo INSIDER 8/10/2022 rcohen@insider.com (Rebecca Cohen)
Travis and Alabama Barker. Phillip Faraone / Getty Images for boohooMAN © Provided by INSIDER Travis and Alabama Barker. Phillip Faraone / Getty Images for boohooMAN
  • A PrettyLittleThing ad campaign featuring Alabama Barker has been banned in the UK for portraying the teen in a "sexual way." 
  • The Advertising Standards Authority said the campaign violated the country's decency codes.
  • "Channel that teen dream realness with barely-there micro mini skirts," a brand website featuring Barker said, according to the ASA.

An ad campaign for PrettyLittleThing featuring Travis Barker's 16-year-old daughter, Alabama, has been banned in the UK for portraying the teen in a "sexual way." 

The "Y2K Edit" campaign featured Barker clad in tight, revealing clothing that violated the Advertising Standards Authority's code by portraying someone under the age of 18 in a "sexual way," the ASA ruled.  

The ASA described the poses in which Barker modeled the clothing, including wearing a "tight-fitting short dress whilst sucking a lollipop" and "wearing high heels and a low-cut short dress that revealed her breasts whilst spraying a water hose."

The brand website feature featuring Barker said, "channel that teen dream realness with barely-there micro mini skirts," according to the ASA ruling. 

In an Instagram post announcing Barker's status as brand ambassador, PrettyLittleThings wrote: "Who's excited to see what we've been working on?!"

The ASA wrote that PrettyLittleThing confirmed Barker was 16 years old at the time of the photoshoot and campaign and added that they chose to employ her as a brand ambassador because their target audience for their products is 16-24-year-olds. 

PrettyLittleThing responded to regulators by saying the campaign — which focused on a "Y2K" trend — is "girly, colorful, fun, and playful."

They disputed the ASA's claims about the poses being sexual, noting that all of the poses "fitted the intended Y2K aesthetic."

"PrettyLittleThing said that they did not intend to sexualize Ms. Barker and disagreed that she was portrayed in a sexual manner," the ASA wrote in its ruling. PrettyLittleThing added that Barker approved all poses — ones that are not unlike those seen on her personal Instagram account. 

"PrettyLittleThing said that they wanted to convey a message of body positivity to encourage and empower young women to embrace their bodies and inspire confidence," the ASA release said.  

The complaint was ultimately upheld.

"The ad must not appear in its current form," the ASA said. "We told PrettyLittleThing.com Ltd to ensure future ads did not include images that portrayed or represented anyone who was, or seemed to be, under 18 in a sexual manner.".

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