H&M pulls school uniform ad after being accused of sexualising childrenon January 22, 2024 at 1:17 pm

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Fashion giant pulls an advert for school uniforms and says it is “deeply sorry” for offence caused.

H&M logoImage source, Reuters

H&M has dropped an advert for school uniforms after it was accused of sexualising young children.

The campaign showed a picture of two primary school-aged girls under the slogan: “Make those heads turn in H&M’s Back to School fashion.”

The advert in Australia has now been withdrawn and H&M has apologised.

Mumsnet founder and chief executive Justine Roberts said the advert “should never have been created in the first place”.

The campaign was criticised by people on social media, with one labelling it “vile” and another “disgusting”.

In a statement, H&M said it had removed the ad, which was only live in Australia.

“We are deeply sorry for the offence this has caused and will look into how we present campaigns going forward.”

Ms Roberts said: “Mumsnet users have long been concerned about a sexualised culture creeping into the lives of children – which is why we launched our Let Girls Be Girls campaign in 2010.”

The campaign calls on retailers to commit not to sell products which play upon, emphasise or exploit children’s sexuality.

Ms Roberts added: “It’s disappointing to see that, 14 years later, retailers are still creating inappropriate adverts that prematurely sexualise young girls.

“While we’re pleased that H&M have accepted their mistake and removed the advert, it really should never have been created in the first place.”

Last year, online retailer Temu had an advert banned by the UK’s advertising watchdog for sexualising a child.

The ad showed a girl aged between eight and 11 wearing a bikini in a pose that “was quite adult for a girl of her age”, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said.

The watchdog also banned four other adverts for showing sexual images and pictures that objectified women.

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