H&M Pulls School Uniform Ad After Claims of Sexualizing Kids

Fashion giant H&M recently withdrew a school uniform advertisement following allegations of sexualizing young children.

In the campaign, two young girls, who appeared to be of primary school age, were featured under the tagline: “Make those heads turn in H&M’s Back to School fashion.”

This advertisement, specific to Australia, has been discontinued, and H&M has issued an apology.

Justine Roberts, founder and CEO of Mumsnet, stated that the advertisement “should never have been created in the first place.”

The campaign faced backlash on social media, where it was described as “vile” and “disgusting” by some users.

H&M stated in a release that they had removed the advertisement, which was only active in Australia.

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

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

This campaign urges retailers to avoid selling products that suggest, highlight, or exploit children’s sexuality.

Roberts also remarked, “It’s disappointing to see that, 14 years later, retailers are still creating inappropriate adverts that prematurely sexualize young girls.”

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

Previously, the online retailer Temu had an advertisement banned in the UK for sexualizing a child.

The banned ad featured a girl, estimated to be between eight and 11 years old, wearing a bikini in a pose deemed too mature for her age, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Additionally, the ASA banned four other advertisements for displaying sexual images and objectifying women.