TI’s Akoo clothing billboard deemed offensive, taken down

image from www.sojones.com

March 4, 2010 (WENN) — Advertising billboards for rapper T.I.’s clothing brand Akoo (www.akooclothingline.net) are set to be taken down in Newark, New Jersey after drawing criticism for its sexually-suggestive tones.

The ad, which features a woman kneeling in front of a man while appearing to pull down his unbuckled jeans, caused controversy among locals and city officials who found the fashion shot “offensive”.

Newark mayor Cory Booker said, “So often when I am out in the community I see kids wearing their pants too low and others using inappropriate la nguage in public. I will work with my city council to see if we can address it so we don’t see these types of advertisements displayed in our city in the near future.”

The comments prompted Akoo bosses to issue their own statement defending the poster, insisting they always aim to “inspire individualism and creativity.”

The executives added, “Our advertising campaign was not created to offend or insult anyone but to simply provoke dialogue and thought regarding male/female sexuality within urban culture.”

But the heads of the advertising company responsible for posting the billboard, CBS Outdoor, have caved under the pressure to have the ad removed and they have confirmed they are taking steps to withdraw the image.

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  1. oh geez…The ad is fine. Leave it up!

  2. it’s not even provocative–but it should be taken down–the girl looks like she’s having a seizure–the art director should be fired! OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! (sorry, I just saw Alice in Wonderland)

  3. I think the billboard achieved just what it set out to do and more!
    I am not offended by the image, nor do I feel like it was a statement about urban culture. I think that people need to relax instead of finding a reason to protest about every little thing. It was a clever ad, that’s all. And now that everyone has made such a hoopla about it it has in a sense become a National Campaign rather than just a single billboard. Everyone has now seen it, in essence doing exactly the opposite of what people protesting the ad wanted. Even though it’s been removed I think it’s a win for AKOO! I didn’t even know the brand existed before this ad.

  4. I agree with the ad being taken down. I don’t like it. I think it’s tacky. The chick looks like she’s about to give the man a bj. There is nothing wrong with sexuality but the ad is just inappropriate. There are other ways to promote urban clothing without using sex. The urban community has enough sex give them something else, something fresh. In the words of Beyonce “come harder, this won’t be easy.” Akoo, your ad needs to be upgraded.

  5. thememusic says:

    I kinda get regular folks saying it’s offensive, hopefully it’s not the same folks that listen to NY/NJ radio stations though…but government officials that allow people like Star&Buck (or whoever they are) on the radio really have nerve, the content and language on “urban” fm radio in the greater NY area is outrageous…oh they have freedom of speech and expression, then so does this ad, Mr. Mayor I’m sure you can multitask, but how about some safe streets so I can freely gaze at any advertisement!?!

  6. looks like everything else in advertising, sexually suggestive. does not look like anything different than most other sexually suggestive ads. but i don’t understand the relevance of Mayor Bookers comments. and what is in that girls mouth in the pic, her tongue?

  7. Raydachic says:

    I think it should be taken down. Personally, for me, it’s an OK ad. I am a grown woman. But being a mom of teen girls, they are constantly being saturated with ads or TV shows that are saturated with the sexy message. It is not necessary all the time. What are they selling here, jeans? You don’t even see the full jeans. Why does she have to be on her knees pulling his pants down, to sell the jeans? I am usually the defender of such things, but after a while it gets tired and old. Just like with the guys and their pants hanging off their ass. Tired. So, I say come up with something original. Show me the clothes, so I can decide if I wanna buy it. That ad, for me, is not gonna make me wanna go out and get it. Just my two cents.

  8. Serious there are bigger issues than this ad. This ad is clearly geared toward the urban clients.

    I see worse than this ad. It does not promote smoking or drinking.

    Maybe they should put a ring on the female’s model finger.

    But her mouth isnt open nor is her tongue sticking out.

    Common sense will tell you it just a picture but yes it worth a thousand words.

    If it was an abercrombie and fitch ads and if they didn’t say anything then that is double standard!

    It aint that serious Newark!

  9. The billboard is just fine and its pictures will automatically pull a large group of people to either buy or join.Thanks for the blog

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