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From sleaze to sloth: the new face of American Apparel

Buttercup the slot, reclining Photograph: PR company handout

As anyone familiar with the internet will know, American Apparel is more than just a purveyor of tight, brightly coloured clothes that sometimes (often) cause chafing. Right now, American Apparel is a company in crisis. Its CEO, Dov Charney, has been sacked. A new leader, Paula Schneider, has been parachuted in, and is attempting to de-sleaze its image. How to promote the brand at this delicate moment without causing any offence?

Here’s a decent attempt: its latest campaign features a sloth called Buttercup, chilling in an “ironic” lady pose, while promoting both American Apparel’s eco credentials and the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. Surely we all agree that clothes should be ethical and sloths should be saved – particularly, mercifully, as Buttercup is not wearing disco pants or spandex. Ominously, though, the advert warns that “Buttercup has a surprise. Stay tuned.” Let’s keep this clean, guys.

Buttercup the sloth Photograph: PR company handout

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