Networks blasted for shunning plus-sized models

Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:59pm EDT
 
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By Steve McClellan

NEW YORK (Adweek) - Lane Bryant is up in arms that two networks -- Fox and ABC -- have resisted airing a sexy lingerie ad featuring busty, plus-sized models in time periods where the networks have broadcast other racy fare.

In a post on LB's Inside Curve blog, the clothing company complains that "ABC and Fox have made the decision to define beauty for you by denying our new, groundbreaking Cacique commercial from airing freely on their networks."

The ad, which was initially available on YouTube and at lanebryant.com/sexy, has since been removed.

The post also claims that ABC "restricted our airtime" and refused to air the spot during "Dancing With the Stars," while Fox "demanded excessive re-edits and rebuffed it three times before relenting to air it during the final 10 minutes of 'American Idol,' but only after we threatened to pull the ad buy."

The post continues: "Yes, 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 -- all in what they call 'family hour.'"

The ad depicts several attractive models in the latest line of Lane Bryant lingerie. Ample cleavage -- which Bryant says was a problem for the networks -- is on display in the ad.

"The networks exclaimed, 'She has ... cleavage!' Gasp!" the blog post states.

"While it's no secret that Victoria's Secret 'The Nakeds' ads are prancing around on major networks leaving little to the imagination, steaming up TV screens and baring nearly everything but their souls, our sultry siren who shows sophisticated sass is somehow deemed inappropriate ... Does this smack of a double standard? Yep. It does to us, too," the post continues.

Not surprisingly, comments from readers on the blog support the ad and chide the networks. "I have been advocating for curvy girls for about 20 years now ... and STILL there is bigotry against women of size. We're deemed inappropriate, unintelligent, and we're shunned. This happens to us on a daily basis!," wrote one disgruntled reader.

Reps at the two networks did not immediately respond.