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November 2, 2020

Creepy and Banned Calvin Klein Jeans “Banned“ Ad From 1995

Calvin Klein was no stranger to controversy when it came to his company’s advertising campaigns, but in 1995 he really pushed the envelope. The campaign shot by world famous fashion photographer Steven Meisel, featured models in what appeared to be a wood-paneled basement.

The provocative ads were seen on television, in print, on billboards and on city buses. The highly visible campaign stirred controversy and generated immediate backlash. At best the campaign looked like amateur porn, but most parent groups felt that the images along with the [creepy] commercials were borderline child porn.

Parent groups, child welfare authorities, leads of the Catholic League, and the American Family Association felt that the images looked like child porn. The Justice Department was even forced to investigate into it. The investigation was eventually dropped, but only when Calvin Klein was able to prove that all the models were adults. And even then, the brand still pulled the ads.


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