Still milking the media buzz created when Fox and ABC initially refused to run one of its lingerie ads last month, Lane Bryant is having a new kind of fun: It's got an ad spoofing underwear powerhouse Victoria's Secret up on its blog and is asking its customers to weigh in.
The spoof shows a blonde skeleton clad in black bra and panties, smooching herself in the mirror as she admires her "perfect bra made for perfect women, like me. ("Not for chubbies," says the final voiceover.)
"Millions of supporters have expressed their views in a variety of ways and following is a poignant, albeit humorous work, that speaks to the cause of accepting beauty in all sizes," it says on Inside Curve, its company blog. "Share your thoughts and ideas for support!"
Holly Baird, a spokeperson for Lane Bryant, tells Marketing Daily the company is delighted with the ongoing huzzahs from curvy gals around the country. "Women of all shapes and sizes are glad that someone finally stepped forward and addressed the issue of size discrimination in advertising. It opened up a dialogue that for some time has been hush-hush. And many women felt insecure and ashamed of their full figures. It created a launch pad for this topic to be exposed and gave many the chance to speak up and be proud."
The controversy started last month, when Lane Bryant, owned by Charming Shoppes, was shot down by both Fox and ABC. "After numerous requests for edits, Fox allowed the spot to run during the last half hour of "American Idol," she says. "ABC flat out refused to run it during "Dancing with the Stars," and only after Lane Bryant replied, 'But you'll allow the VS 'nakeds' campaign,' did they concede. Lane Bryant has never experienced this level of discrimination."
As a follow-up to the buzz -- the controversy got widespread coverage in newspapers, TV, in blogs and on Twitter -- the company last week threw a chainwide 40% off sale to thanks to its fans.
"Women were thrilled to see the new Lane Bryant activewear and Cacique lingerie line and receive free panties," says Baird, adding that the whole process has boosted consumer awareness of what the brand stands for. "Women are more aware of the product and meaning behind Lane Bryant's clothing lines -- fashionable clothing for full-figured everyday women."
Lane Bryant, which claims to be the most recognized name in specialty plus-size clothing, says the average American woman today is a size 14.