Home / Why TV Networks Really Wouldn’t Air Lane Bryant’s Body-Positive Commercial
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Well hasn’t Lane Bryant done it again?

The plus-size brand behind the #ThisBody hashtag campaign — the year’s most impactful fashion marketing initiative — is the center of attention again after a black-and-white TV commercial featuring its curvy lingerie models was rejected by both ABC and NBC.

Adding some juice to a story that is already dripping with irony, news of Lane Bryant‘s latest dustup with censors came shortly after the prime-time network broadcast of the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special, an hour filled with slender bikini-clad models that are, apparently, quite acceptable for Family Hour viewing.

On the TV entertainment chat shows last night, some skeptical commentators took a break from ogling Kim Kardashian‘s naked selfie to suggest that Lane Bryant intentionally created a commercial that it knew would be rejected as a way of whipping up publicity without having to pay for it.

Network censors apparently had no problem with the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special.

Other pundits picked through the 30-second ad looking for presumed offenses that might trigger a censor’s ire. Too much skin? Too much homoerotic closeness at the end of the clip? Or how about — gasp! — that brief flash of a model breastfeeding? (It doesn’t show much, but it references one of the few remaining inexplicable taboos in mainstream media.)

Or what about the obvious reason for the networks’ bias — all those half-dressed big girls, talking about feeling “bold, powerful and sexy” and “getting it on”, fearlessly flaunting their curves? Seriously, who wants to look at that!? (Bizarrely, even SELF Magazine called the commercial a “celebration of body positivity” that still “may not be appropriate for daytime TV.”)

For their part, the networks claim the Lane Bryant ad wasn’t “rejected”, just sent back to the company for “minor edits” to comply with “broadcast indecency guidelines,” implying that something about the ad is indecent but without saying exactly what.

Yesterday, Lane Bryant announced it would not re-cut the commercial to placate the networks, calling their ad “a beautiful and appropriate expression of women’s bodies.”

If a similar ordeal that Lane Bryant and its star model Ashley Graham went through in 2010 is any indication, the TV networks won’t back down and they won’t explain their reasons, either.

Which leaves everyone in the dark trying to understand what the fuss is really all about.

As a public service, Lingerie Talk has assembled a list of possible reasons why TV honchos decided this ad was an affront to American values. See if any of these make sense to you!

14 Totally Plausible Reasons Why Lane Bryant’s
#ThisBody Commercial Was Rejected by TV Networks

  • The time slot requested by Lane Bryant was already reserved by Weight Watchers.
  • According to network standards and practices, flattering representations of curvy women speaking honestly and positively about themselves must include a laugh track (cf. Mike & Molly).
  • Networks feared a backlash from “normal-sized” Americans. (Fun fact: the average weight of adult women in America is 166.3 pounds.)
  • In prime time, lingerie is only shown when it is being removed.
  • Images of Ashley Graham kickboxing will make you hate yourself for being such a slug. And they will scare Rhonda Roussey, who is already hurting enough.
  • The black-and-white commercial is too much like something you’d see back in the 1970s — you know, when people actually watched network TV.
  • It would be a real buzzkill at all those Victoria’s Secret Swim Show viewing parties.
  • Major advertiser Pfizer complained to the networks that the Lane Bryant spot would make Viagra redundant.
  • The whole thing is just, you know, “too Hillary”.
  • TV execs feared the commercial’s message of self-respect and supportive sisterhood would confuse viewers of The Bachelor.
  • It was just bad timing: the season finale of The Biggest Loser already aired two weeks ago.
  • “Minor edits” requested by networks included an all-black version to air during Blackish and an all-Asian version for Fresh Off The Boat.
  • Network rules clearly state that breastfeeding is allowed to be shown on TV, but only when it is used as a comedic device (cf. Friends, The Office, 2 Broke Girls, etc.).

And the biggest reason the TV universe gave the Lane Bryant commercial a big thumbs down?

  • There are no Kardashians in it.
Posted in Insight, Lingerie News

2 Responses to “Why TV Networks Really Wouldn’t Air Lane Bryant’s Body-Positive Commercial”

  1. Louisa says:

    You are taking it personally that the VS T&aA show exists at all. Fact is that TV “content”, just like paid porn channels, equals revenue and buzz to TV networks that are failing in the real digital world. The “traditional networks” pander to lowest common denominator.

    WHY does Lane Bryant WANT to reach a TV audience of millions of eyeballs [that] gawk at women’s bodies and envision sex/rape/whatever is on their minds?

    Don’t you realize the LCD of the world is TV viewers – mindless, brainless, spineless people who expect a TV box to fill the voids in their lives? If they had careers and full lives they would not be watching garbage aka TV (and you are what media you consume). In fact, they probably would still be at their offices during that 1970s saying, “prime time.”

    LB can cry all they want, but they are looking for complete idiots (aka networks and their 12-year-old-mentality audience) to change the world. LB should change the world on their own – great product marketed to the shoppers, not tv toadstools – and leave the garbage TV audience in the dust.

  2. peaches & screams says:

    Another reason Why Lane Bryant’s #ThisBody Commercial Was Rejected by TV Networks is that TV networks only air what people want to see as their main motivation is profit.

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