Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret has come under fire with its latest marketing campaign. Promoting its new bra range called ‘Body’, the campaign runs with the tagline “The Perfect ‘Body’” on models with the same body type.
An online petition created by three students in UK is currently running asking the lingerie maker to apologise and take responsibility for the “unhealthy and damaging message”. The petition on change.org asks Victoria’s Secret to alter the wording on their advertisements “to something that does not promote unhealthy and unrealistic standards of beauty”. The petition also demands that Victoria Secret pledges not to use such harmful marketing in the future.
“Every day women are bombarded with advertisements aimed at making them feel insecure about their bodies, in the hope that they will spend money on products that will supposedly make them happier and more beautiful,” the petition stated.
“Victoria’s Secret is hugely popular among young women, and they have a crucial responsibility to not use harmful and unhealthy ideas to market their products.”
Currently the hashtag #iamperfect is also trending.
Several celebrities along with the public have also expressed their outrage at the campaign:
Meanwhile Dove has also jumped on the opportunity to promote its extremely successful “Real Body” campaign with the hashtag:
Dove’s campaign for” Real Beauty” was one of the marketing industry’s best attempts to change the conversation about female beauty. While Dove’s attempt to give female consumers a more realistic view on beauty has been over and over hailed as a success the “unrealistic” view of beauty standards still persists, particularly from luxury fashion labels and cosmetic brands around the globe.
Two years ago, H&M’s Marni collection came under fire for using a “corpse-like” model in PR material. A seasonal ad from fashion label YSL also triggered a petition from a blogger against the YSL CEO to stop using “malnourished models” in ad campaigns. Dettol also came under fire recently for releasing a campaign featuring a local celebrity where design experts speculated her arms had been manipulated.
Jean Kilbourne, author, filmmaker and media critic, who has been studying the feminism and advertising fields for about 40 years, added that advertising has gone too far to have “way too much emphasise” on the ideal standard of female beauty, which appears to be “too narrow”, especially in developed countries.
“This kind of idealised images have a bad effect prominently on young people, who simply don’t realise the images are artificial,” Kilbourne added.
In a separate interview done by Marketing, Grace Lau, marketing manager at Shiseido’s Masstige Business Division who works on cosmetics brand Majolica Majorca said today audiences are looking for more “lifestyle-driven content with personality, which really speaks to them”. To build up the brand’s personality requires marketing teams to put more effort into brainstorming interesting angles and story lines to build brand personality. A pretty and perfect face is no longer enough to endorse brands. Instead key opinion leaders who can tell the brand story and connect with our audience is what is now vital.