Witchery slammed again for 'sexualisation of children'

Witchery has once again come under fire for "sexualisation of children", facing a case lodged to the Advertising Standards Bureau and a barrage Facebook complaints.

The image, which appeared in an email brochure and on the brand's Facebook page, was promoting its 8Fourteen children's clothing range. It showed three girls, aged between 10 and 14, with professional hair and make up posing and looking directly at the camera.

The email version was accompanied with the text 'Meet our 2012 It Girls' and the models' respective names.

The ad watchdog told AdNews it had received a complaint regarding the ad's perceived 'sexualisation of children', and a determination would be released within the next seven days. 

The ad, uploaded to the brand's adult and kids range Facebook pages, has attracted over 50 complaints about the mature appearence and sexualised stance of the models.

One user said: "As soon as I saw this photo I felt like looking away, I felt disgusted. It is not a reflection of their ages. Very poor effort Witchery. Plenty of time in life to dress like an adult, strike a sexy pose and not smile."

Another described it as showing "young girls dressed as mini adults." "It makes me feel uneasy looking at this ad. I'm sure the girls are talented and lovely but it's way too provocative."

One consumer wrote: "The styling and the look of the shoot is completely inappropriate for the age of these girls!"

"What happened to having fun and being children? They look so serious! TOO SEXY, poor effort", added another.

The current controversy marks the second time the retailer has faced complaints for its portrayal of children. Last year, its WitcheryKids campaign was thought by the public to show the "adultification" of children.

Witchery was not available for comment at the time of writing.

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