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Tea with AK71: Ad by Abercrombie & Fitch is indecent!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On 28 August, I made a quick mention of the gigantic poster at Knightsbridge (the former Crown Prince Hotel) put up by Abercrombie & Fitch and how it caused distress to some people with more puritanical persuasion. They said it was lewd. Read blog post here.

This was a photo I took that day:


What if we were to put a 4 storey high statue of David by Michelangelo in the same location?

Totally indecent! Gasp! It does not even have a pair of jeans to hide the privates!

Or what about this famous painting in the Sistine Chapel (yes, in a Chapel) also by Michelangelo?

Anyway, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) in its infinite wisdom has decided that the ad is indecent and has called for the ad to be removed.

Why bother talking about being more vibrant in the arts when we are not even able to match the openess of the Renaissance period a few centuries ago?

Read article here.


Wealth Journey said...

I agree! The ad is not lewd!

But I definitely think the statue of David by Michelangelo is lewd in public place (exclude. museum or places of fine art).

Why is the statue a piece of art? is it because it is done by Michelangelo? If some singapore sculptor did an asian version..would there be the same appreciation by people?

financialray said...

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Bo bian, some big shot or big shot's wife probably find it distasteful lor

How about doing a test by putting up a busty girl in bikini at the same location and see the reaction?

Then we will know whther it is the big shot or the big shot's wife who calls the shot.

AK71 said...

Hi WJ,

Why is the statue of David lewd outside a museum or gallery? If its penis were erect, it would be lewd. ;p

There will always be double standards in this world. What to do?

AK71 said...

Hi financialray,

Haha... Funny! :)

It could also be that we have some very conservative female members or some pot bellied uncles in ASAS. The former could have been scandalised (at the same time thinking they were going into cardiac arrest as they suffered palpitations) while the latter were just plain jealous. ;p

Patty said...

You see corruption, blood, body parts, death and disease in wholesale shock-and-awe media bombardment everyday to the point we are being "numbed".

And yet, for beautiful things, they veil it up and hide it away under the pretext of "decency".


AK71 said...

Hi Patty,

Well said! A thing of beauty is a joy forever, don't they say? Why hide it?

Hwang said...

Personally, lewd or not is in the eyes that's looking at it.

So apparently Singaporeans are the lewd ones. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Obscene! Lewd! Triple X!

Yucks! *wash eyes*



Beary said...


INVS 2.0 said...

Hi AK71,

This is how superficial and myopic our society is.

To add on, if the ad were females, I doubt the same reaction.

It's the societal values that are to be blamed. Perhaps society thinks that such half-naked ad should leave it to the females. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Hwang,

You are right! It is how we look at things, of course. Perception is reality! :)

AK71 said...

Hi BJ,

You washing your eyes so that you can see clearer, right? ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Beary,

I knew you would like it. ;)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Let me see, the gist of your comment is that Singaporeans are mostly myopic sexists! ;p

Anonymous said...

Who does it offend ? The ladies ? Please lah, maybe they should ask all the guys to suit up at the beach and at the swimming pools. I think many teenagers would have seen a lot more on the internet then in that photo.


AK71 said...

Hi Skipper,

Overwhelmingly all who have commented so far think that the ad is pretty decent and I even think it is quite artistic. It did, however, make me somewhat self-conscious of my rather rounder belly but I am not going to demand that the ad be torn down because of my bruised ego! ;p

So, whose views do the people at ASAS represent anyway?

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

I think the ad managed to do what it is supposed to do - it generated buzz. Now everyone will know there's an 'indecent' ad that is going to be torn down by authorities, so they will go and take some pictures or take a look before it is gone. Since they are there, might as well go in and take a look and see who the hell this decadent western influence, this Abercrombie, who dares to invade the moral high tower of the general population of Singapore and threatens our asian conservative confucian society. Thank goodness for the ever vigilant eyes from ASAS!

Indecent or decent? Nah, it's just very smart marketing move.

Raelynn said...

dear AK,

i would just deem the ad as cheeky and move on. very disappointed that they deemed it obscene. generation gap la generation gap...

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

You could be right! Abercrombie & Fitch is known to have very savvy marketing people who really know how to create an impact. I think they have done it again! :)

AK71 said...

Hi Raelynn,

Most unfortunate! This news will create more fodder for Hossan Leong's next talkshow! Before foreigners laugh at us, we might as well laugh at ourselves first! Sigh. :(

Wealth Journey said...

"And yet, for beautiful things, they veil it up and hide it away under the pretext of "decency".

Puiz!" - Patty.

Ok! You motivated me! To hell with decency! I am going to showcase my beautiful thing with everyone from now onwards! I dont want to hide behind a veil!

AK71 said...

Hi WJ,

Your beautiful thing? I thought you said you don't have abs? You said you have an ab. ;)

I think you will have a better chance of avoiding being called "lewd" if you display your beautiful thing in a chapel. ;p

AK71 said...

Now, the MDA has joined in:

MDA joins ASAS...

So parochial.

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi AK71,

After a few thoughts, could it also due to some far-right religious believers who blow the whistle?

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

I hope I would no longer be around the day Singapore is run by religious zealots!

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