ASA Reverses Ban on FKA twigs’ Calvin Ad

FKA twigs
FKA twigs | Shutterstock

The Initial Ban and Its Partial Reversal

The advertising scene was stirred up when the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) imposed a ban on a Calvin Klein ad starring FKA twigs. However, in a twist that reflects the power of public opinion and the artist’s own voice, this decision was partially reversed. On March 6, a new ruling acknowledged the discussions around the ad and FKA twigs’ criticism, leading to a nuanced stance on display, as reported by the BBC.


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FKA twigs and the ASA: A Clash of Perspectives

The ASA’s initial decision to ban the ad came after complaints about its portrayal of FKA twigs. The controversy centered around an image showing the artist with her body partly covered by a denim shirt, accompanied by the slogan “Calvins or nothing.”


Critics argued that the ad reduced twigs to a “stereotypical sexual object.” FKA twigs, however, hit back. She portrayed the ad as a celebration of a “beautiful strong woman of color” who has endured significant challenges, turning the narrative on its head and highlighting her resilience and strength.


The ASA’s Revised Stance: Acknowledging Confidence and Control

In its revised statement, the ASA clarified its position, noting that while the ad could be seen as “overtly sexual,” it did not cross the line into explicitness. More importantly, the regulatory body recognized that the portrayal of FKA twigs exuded confidence and control. This acknowledgment shifted the interpretation of the ad from one that objectifies to one that empowers, highlighting the importance of context and intention in media representations.


Conclusion: Navigating the Fine Line

The controversy around the Calvin Klein ad featuring FKA twigs has shed light on the complex interplay between artistic expression, public perception, and advertising standards. The ASA’s partial reversal underscores the need for a balanced approach that considers the voices of creators and the public alike. It’s a reminder that in the world of advertising, the impact of an image goes beyond its surface, resonating with deeper themes of empowerment and representation.



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