H&M school uniform advert: Retailer apologises after being accused of ‘sexualising’ young girls
High street retailer H&M has been forced to apologise and remove an advertisement for school uniform following public backlash. The brand recently shared a back to school advertising campaign featuring two young girls.
The twin-like girls were seen wearing matching pinafore dresses, socks and shoes. Standing in front of a pink background with coordinating pink backpacks. The advertising campaign slogan read: “Make those heads turn in H&M back to school fashion”.
The Swedish brand received criticism over the ad, accused of sexualising young girls. Taking to social media, Mumsnet CEO and founder Justine 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. It’s disappointing to see that, 14 years later, retailers are still creating inappropriate adverts that prematurely sexualise young girls.”
Commenting on the post, Psychologist Dr Pam Spurr said: “Your vile ad panders to paedophiles that it’s OK lusting after girls, Boycott H&M. A shameful exploitation of girls.” Another social media user wrote: “What the hell is going on? This is sickening, sexualising kids.”
H&M has since deleted the post which featured the ad campaign and apologised. A spokesperson for H&M said: “We have removed this ad. We are deeply sorry for the offence this has caused and will look into how we present campaigns going forward.”
The backlash comes after a Rimmel London campaign featuring Love Island star Lana Jenkins was banned. The brand received criticism in December after sharing their ad that read: “Get ready to slay this back-to-school season”. Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga also caused outrage following their marketing campaign featuring a child holding a teddy bear wearing a BDSM bondage outfit in November 2022.