Dear American Apparel,

I have to admit, when it comes to you, i’m torn. You pulled us all in with your super-comfy t-shirts that feel like they’ve been loved on by a cotton coneseuir for years and then you made nice with a PR persona built on “Sweatshop-Free Labor” (which really isn’t fooling anyone anymore… yes, it’s sweatshop-free… your factory is in LOS ANGELES), paying workers fair wages, giving them health insurance, subsidized lunches, etc. and keeping jobs in the US… all supposedly unheard of in the garment industry. And you managed to do all of this at a healthy intake of $140 million last year, which is quite respectable for a relatively new garment company.

But then you had to go and use pornography in your advertising.

Dov Charney, your father figure founder says, “Our advertising is a reflection of young adult life – the next generation.” So let me get this straight, the web-based ad campaign you just released (to sell your CLOTHING) that features a posed (to look unposed) amateur model in a shower with a wet, white t-shirt and little else is “…a reflection of young adult life?” Really? Because I completely mistook it for a reflection of sexist, exploitive, and (unfortunately) very common sex-sells advertising practices. I always thought that the “Let’s use amateur girls who look innocent and take badly-cropped pictures of them so it looks like fetish photography” route was for people who weren’t smart enough or creative enough to come up with any worthwhile marketing ideas.

Granted, I realize that my resistance to your advertising has everything to do with my worldview and nothing to do with yours, but my main point isn’t so much that i’m disgusted by this move (although I am) but more so that it was COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY from a business standpoint. You’ve doubled your revenue for three straight years. Why take the low road? Why be so perverse in your corporate image? Why alienate customers that would buy your products if you’d just learn to use a little restraint? Your advertising doesn’t reflect me, it makes me not want to buy your products and I don’t see how that could possibly be good business.