Panties and PR

The brouhaha over the Lane Bryant commercial that Fox and ABC allegedly refused to run during certain broadcasts last week has the media buzzing and people taking sides.  Most of you are familiar with Victoria Secret’s “The Nakeds” commercial – unfortunately even my 9-year-old son has seen this commercial since it airs during American Idol.  (The good news is that he likes saying “the nakeds”  but doesn’t grasp the point of the commercial.)  So the question is whether it constitutes a double standard that two major networks refused to air the Lane Bryant commercials showing plus-size woman in bras and panties because this content was too risque, but have aired “The Nakeds” and other arguably PG-13/R rated content prime time. For those reading this blog and tracking the story, the more interesting question is whether Lane Bryant is pleased with this current situation and media attention or truly feel wronged — and would rather the commercial aired under the radar and without controversy.  Anyone who studies and practices PR knows the answer to this question: Lane Bryant should be thrilled with the publicity and milk it for all its worth. No pun intended, really.

– Diane Schwartz

  • Clay

    First, I thank you for the legitimate reason to view both commercials on YouTube.

    I personally do not see that the Lane Bryant commercial is any more risque than “The Nakeds,” and having not researched the matter I’m not certain what the networks’ concerns were. Quite obviously, this is a case of “sex sells” – for both commercials – and they are targeting an adult market. That said, a media organization does have the right to place limits on, including flat out refusal, for the advertising it accepts.

    And I agree…Lane Bryant should be thrilled. I’ll leave it at that … just in case my fiance reads this.

  • Marion

    With this ad, Lane Bryant has an opportunity to create a positive image of larger women. When the networks refuse to run the ad, it stirs up a conversation about how women are portrayed in advertising.

    As a result, I think it’s bad news for the networks and great news for Lane Bryant – how many more views had this ad had as a result of this controversy!?

  • Kate

    I would almost go a step further and say it is bad PR for Victoria’s Secret, if they don’t jump on the bandwagon and help a bigger sister get her time on air.

  • Larry

    the fact that people are talking about it ( a la the “wardrobe malfunction” of Super Bowl lore) proves the point – doesn’t it. When it comes to product PR – it’s all about the buzz, right?

  • diane schwartz

    Good points, all! Especially about Victoria’s Secret capitalizing (or not) on the situation. They need a wardrobe malfunction in the news….

  • Avi H

    Lane Bryant has without trying too hard, gotten itself some awesome publicity and social media has allowed the ad to gain notoriety it may not have achieved from traditional advertising. The double standards though continue and it is something that sadly is not going to go away anytime soon. But LB still wins!