An "inappropriate" advertisement of a women's choker on Asos website has left many parents furious and outraged. The item, which was listed for sale at £45 ($62), was later removed from the site after numerous complaints.
The advert features a fashion accessory, called Hanger Latex Flame Choker, which looks a lot like a belt. It is tightly positioned around the neck of a female model, who has her eyes closed and head tilted to the side.
Kylie Souder of Brooklyn, took to Twitter to post the photo of the choker and wrote, "Absolutely unacceptable to sell belt necklaces named 'hanger latex' with a model wearing a shirt that reads 'hanger;' suicide is a harrowing epidemic that plagues your buyer demographic."
She slammed the fashion giant for using suicide imagery to sell their product. "How careless and harmful to glorify this as a fashion accessory, remove it," the tweet read.
Another user called it "sickening" and wrote on Twitter, "So disgusted with @ASOS - it seems that in at a time when death by suicide is becoming more common they attempt to make suicide fashionable. The pose, the belt, the branding on the tee - sickening."
The furious mum also shared her views on an online thread, Mumsnet, and said she had complained to Asos after spotting it on the site earlier in the day.
She wrote, "I do not get offended easily, at all. I thought this was hideous, but together with the pose and brand name, isn't it vile and insensitive? I've tweeted ASOS with no response..... am I overreacting."
Many users joined in the discussion, as one replied saying, "genuinely shocked that anyone thought that was okay!" Another said, "Highly offensive and to those asking to whom it would be offensive, perhaps my friend whose daughter hung herself with a belt might be slightly upset."
"That is shocking. Suicide imagery being used to sell a crappy belt?" Another twitter user wrote.
Some found the image too sexual for teen clothing company. A parent noted, "I didn't think suicide, I totally see it but it wasn't my first thought. My mind went along the lines of sexual," as another person lashed out saying, "I don't know if offensive is the right word, but I do think it's an awful piece of clothing, suggestive and inappropriate."
"If it was in a specialist fetish catalogue maybe but ASOS!!!" Noted another shocked user.
Amid such uproar, Asos responded to tweets and sincerely apologised for the mistake. "Hey Kylie. We've looked into this product and we can see the issue with the connotations of this design. It has since been removed from our website. Once again we sincerely apologise for any offence or upset caused. If you need anything else, please let us know."