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Pearls Before Shark?
This week's Rate the Ad. It's Shark Week on the Sweet Meter Channel. Is this Tampax ad a pearl? Rate it on a six-degree taste scale of excellence on the PrintCritic Sweet Meter, with 5 being the top score: 5 Very Sweet, 4 Sweet, 3 Semi-Dry 2 Dry, 1 Extra Dry, 0 Sour. And feel free to write in your comments about the art direction, the photography, the copy, the concept, whatever. Click here to play.

Classic Bathing Beauty?
Last week's Rate the Ad. American Apparel gets a down-the-middle split, with a 50/50 Good/Bad ratio, comparing the top half of the Sweet Meter to the bottom half. The single biggest bloc of voters goose-egged it, but Sweet runs right behind, so to speak. Based on the comments, there are two roughly equal camps when it comes to whether or not this woman is sexy and whether or not ultra lo-fi photography is effective in this context. There was some griping about the fact that she's getting ready to bathe yet she's not nude (oh, come on), and there was a substantial outcry about the condition of her tub. We don't know what that's about; our tub looks about this good after we clean it. Anyway, here are the results.

5 Very Sweet 14%
4 Sweet 21%
3 Semi-Dry 15%
2 Dry 15%
1 Extra Dry 12%
0 Sour 23%

And here are some of our fave responses.

2 If you took the porn out of Terry Richardson, this is what it would look like: boring.

3 She's washing away the sins of the evil sweatshop industry.

4 The visual catches your attention because the model looks real yet really sexy at the same time. Who can't imagine themselves in this same day-to-day scenario (and who doesn't wish we looked this good filling up the bathtub)?

4 No stick-thin models. No sexual innuendo. Nice slice-of-life photography.

0 My rubber ducky will remain in hiding for the rest of the day after seeing this one. It's repulsive.

4 She's definitely no supermodel, but this girl looks good enough that I'm not scared off from buying the product.

5 This departure from the Barbie Doll paradigm depicts timeless grace in a modern context and celebrates the true beauty of the female figure.

0 I can't get past the grunge on the tiles.

4 There really is a no-bullshit ethic and aesthetic to this company, and its ads mirror this. I actively look for the brand these days and this ad just reinforces my decision.

0 Maybe if they enlisted a sweatshop to make their ads they'd turn out better.

4 The typography design looks like an ad for an insurance company, and the shot seems to appeal more to the male audience. But hey, it got me.

0 A concept as clean as the grout between the tiles. I'm just glad they listed all six locations so I don't accidentally wander into one.

5 Refreshingly unfresh. I love it.

0 This is the lowest-budget photo shoot I've ever witnessed, and I'm sad it was even approved.

0 Bruises and mold are not sexy.

2 What's so "classic" about this girl?

1 The rubber ducky was made in China by people making 12 cents an hour. This whole thing is bad porn gone Warhol.

2 Win-lose situation. The photo is ugly and completely random — so random that it made me go to the website to figure out what the hell American Apparel is.

4 For the first time ever, an apparel ad that isn't intimidating. Totally real and totally cool.

5 I love it because it looks real. A lot of my colleagues would disagree, because they've become Viagra-popping, Audi A6-driving old farts with sweaters wrapped around their necks who want the world to be retouched and perfect.

4 First model I've seen all week I didn't want to force-feed a sandwich. The everyday quality appeals to me. So shoot me.

0 I hope this is the art director and she's climbing in there to open a vein.

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