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H&M removes controversial school uniform ad following backlash

H&M was accused of sexualising children in an ad.

According to a report in 'The Independent', H&M has removed a contentious school uniform commercial after being accused of sexualising young children. H&M's caption was called "highly inappropriate" by multiple users.

The advertisement featured two young girls in primary school wearing pinafore dresses, along with the words, "Make those heads turn in H&M's Back to School fashion."

Netizens reacted strongly against the advertisement. "What the h*** is going on? This is sickening, sexualising kids," said a user.

Another added, "The caption used in the ad seems highly inappropriate and insensitive. Brands should prioritise responsible advertising, especially when it involves children."

"It's pretty tone-deaf to use the phrase 'Make those heads turn' with images of young girls in school uniforms. It feels like they missed the mark on what's appropriate for a back to school campaign," commented another person.

A person said, "This is revolting H&M, take down the ad & investigate how the ad got approval." "We are a culture lost to corporatism and pornification. This is sick," added an X user. Another added, "This is absolutely creepy. Take it down."

In response, the brand said it was only live in Australia and apologised, adding that they had withdrawn the advertisement. "We are deeply sorry for the offence this has caused and will look into how we present campaigns going forward," it stated.

A BBC article states that Temu, an online marketplace, faced criticism in 2023 after releasing an advertisement that appeared to suggest underage sex. The girl in the photo appeared to be eight or ten years old, and the Advertising Standards Authority stated that the kid's bikini-wearing posture "was quite adult for a girl of her age".

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