Stripping is all in a day's work for Dov
The US clothing company, American Apparel, swore blind that it was going to clean up its act after a series of risqué adverts, which ended up in the law courts with Woody Allen suing the company for using his image.
Allen called the ads "sleazy", a judge agreed with him and he was awarded compensation.
The CEO of American Apparel is a man called Dov Charney. Dov likes to run around his office in his underwear and put up a video of himself doing just that on the company website. In his deposition in a sexual harassment suit he said: "There is no evidence to say that you can't walk around in your underwear all day anywhere in the United States of America." Another deposition gem was: "I frequently drop my pants to show people my new product." How generous of him.
Despite Dov's canny business sense, the company is facing bankruptcy and, in an effort to boost sales, has abandoned any notion of toning down its advertising and, instead, has launched a series of risqué images to be reproduced in certain publications.
"Is she wearing any knickers?" asked Maggie, when I showed her one of the photos.
The answer is no. Diane is a college student who enjoys bike riding, which is just as well because her thighs, which are wrapped around a tilting palm tree, are coming under huge pressure as she tries to hold on. Diane is wearing nothing but a shirt and knee socks and her bum is bare, which can be tricky if one is shimmying up a palm tree.
In another ad a topless model is painting her nails in a room full of mannequins. It's hard to look at anything but her chest. "I think the clothes come second in these ads," said Maggie.
Maybe the ads can be explained by Dov's attitude to women. In an interview in the US with a magazine called Jane, he was asked about his intimate relations with some of his employees. He replied: "I'm not saying I want to screw all the girls in work [which must have been a relief for his female colleagues] but if I fall in love at work it's going to be a beautiful and sexual thing." Now there's a man who knows how to woo a girl!
But then, when you read his deposition further, he ruins it when he answers a question about whether he ever referred to women as sluts. He replied he had but only, "in private conversations -- where such language is generally welcome. You know there are some of us that love sluts. You know, it's not necessarily -- it could be an endearing term".
American Apparel doesn't need another controversial advertising campaign. It needs a new CEO.