Looks like Fox TV finally picked the wrong fight with wrong opponent.
Lane Bryant, the US fashion label specializing in apparel for plus-size women, has launched a full-scale press blitz after both Fox and ABC refused to run a Lane Bryant commercial during Dancing With The Stars and American Idol this week. The ad, meant to introduce Lane Bryan’s new Cacique line of fashion lingerie for the plus-size market, can be seen above.
According to the “Inside Curve” blog on the Lane Bryant website, Fox insisted the ad be re-edited several times before finally allowing it to air in the final 10 minutes of Idol – but only after Bryant threatened to cancel the ad buy. ABC, meanwhile, would only allow the ad to run during the final minutes of this week’s DWTS.
So what’s this all about? The networks’ reason for the restrictions was, supposedly, to keep overly sexualized commercials outside of the prime “family” viewing time slot. But Lane Bryant isn’t buying that excuse – and neither should anyone else who pays attention to what gets past the network censors these days.
“These are the same networks that have scantily-clad housewives so desperate they seduce every man on the block, and don’t forget Bart Simpson, who has shown us the moon more often than NASA,” the company fumes.
“We knew the ads were sexy, but they are not salacious. Our new commercials represent the sensuality of the curvy woman who has more to show the world than the typical waif-like lingerie model. What we didn’t know was that the networks, which regularly run Victoria’s Secret and Playtex advertising on the very shows from which we’re restricted, would object to a different view of beauty.”
Aha! Could this be true? Could American networks actually be discriminating against portrayals of larger lingerie models? Sounds like a conspiracy theory – until you try to disprove it!
It turns out BOTH networks ran a Victoria’s Secret ad during the same time slot – and the only difference between the two was the size of the models. Discrimination against full-figured women? Unquestionably.
Watch for the networks to back down in a big way over the next few days – if they know what’s good for them! And watch for this controversy to spawn an interesting, and perhaps ugly, debate about marketing to plus-sized women. God help us if Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh or any of the other heavyweight lightweights over at Fox choose to weigh in on the matter.
We’ll have more to say about the Lane Bryant Cacique line soon. In the meantime, hats off to the LB for pushing the boundaries on this one – and not coincidentally generating 1,000 times more attention for their product launch than any TV could have done!