General Pants to censor 'sex' campaign

By Ragtrader | 3 May 2011

General Pants Co. and Ksubi will censor its joint 'Sex! & Fashion' advertising campaign from tomorrow (May 3) after a consumer backlash against its content.

The campaign was rolled out in General Pants stores nationally on April 28 to promote a capsule collection created by Ksubi in collaboration with the youth chain store retailer.

Its hero image comprises a woman naked from the abdomen up, save for gaffer tape on her breasts. There also appears to be a man unzipping her jeans from behind and the word 'sex' appears in bold above her head.

While the campaign will remain in General Pants Co. front store windows until its scheduled end date of May 16, the retailer's CEO Craig King revealed the image will now be partially covered with black strips reading 'censored'.

“We made a decision on Friday [to alter the campaign] after we’d heard some of the responses and consulted with Ksubi that we’d be altering the imagery to diffuse the situation,” King said.

He emphasised however the “considerable praise” the advertising concept had received from other quarters.

“We thought it would generate attention, sure. Much of what the guys [Ksubi] do gets attention, it’s that kind of brand. Any time we do something with the potential to polarise opinion we expect to get a few concerned 'members of the public',” King said.

“At the end of the day General Pants Co. is a curator of youth apparel brands for young blooded consumers. We encourage creativity and support youth initiatives. We don’t have a political agenda and we don’t want to be pulled into one – we don’t take ourselves that seriously.”

He added that sales for the Sex! & Fashion capsule collection had been “strong”.

Despite King's stance, negative feedback from consumers continued to roll in on General Pants Co.'s Facebook page today. Among the criticisms levelled at the retailer were claims the Sex! & Fashion campaign was “too graphic”, “inappropriate” and “stooping to new lows”.

The campaign is also displayed on General Pants Co.'s website and online store.

General Pants Co. is a youth streetwear retailer that carries brands including Cheap Monday, Converse, Levis, One Teaspoon and Sass & Bide.

Ksubi is an 11-year-old men's and womenswear label headquartered in Sydney.

This story first appeared on AdNews sister title Ragtrader.

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