FKA twigs, the British singer, has responded after a Calvin Klein advertisement featuring her was banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The regulatory body determined that the poster, which depicted FKA twigs wearing only a denim shirt, was likely to cause serious offence by objectifying women. In a post on Instagram, the singer suggested that the ban reflected “double standards” and expressed pride in the photos. The ASA stated that the ad broke the rules by “irresponsibly objectifying a woman.” Despite the ban, Calvin Klein defended the advert, arguing that it was similar to those it had been releasing in the UK for many years.
The controversial advertisement featured FKA twigs wearing a denim shirt drawn halfway around her body, revealing the side of her buttocks and half of one breast, with the text “Calvins or nothing” above her. The ASA received three complaints about advertisements featuring actor Jeremy Allen White, one relating to a magazine and two about a TV version. The regulator is currently reviewing claims that the ads “sexually objectify the model” but has not launched a full investigation at this stage. The ASA can proceed to a full investigation if it believes an advert violates its rules, with about 80% of cases not advancing to this stage.
In her Instagram post, FKA twigs highlighted what she perceived as “double standards” by referencing other campaigns of a similar nature. She expressed pride in the photos, thanking Calvin Klein and the fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot. FKA twigs rejected the ASA’s description of her as a “stereotypical sexual object” and instead identified herself as a “beautiful strong woman of colour” who has overcome significant challenges. Calvin Klein maintained its position, emphasizing the consistency of the advert with its past campaigns in the UK. The ASA spokesperson reiterated that the published ruling explained why the ad had breached rules by “irresponsibly objectifying a woman” and being “targeted inappropriately.”