Does Consistent Use of Nudity In Ads Equal Risk?

Or does it become a brand's expected M.O.? Case in point,, a site where designer clothes and accessories can be bought at a discounted price.

Bluefly debuted its spring print ad campaign recently, touting it as risqué. The reason: the ads, created by McCaffery Gottlieb & Lane, feature women naked in public settings. One woman, who has nothing to wear to work, is shown waiting for the subway in high heels and a serious look. Another woman has nothing to wear to the opera so she's the odd woman out, wearing just earrings and red lipstick.

The ads are running from February through May in Lucky, Page Six Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, Elle Accessories, People Style Watch, Angeleno, Riviera, Chicago Social, New York Magazine, Variety and the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago editions of Vogue and Allure in May.

Neither woman looks uncomfortable going commando, and this isn't the first time Bluefly used nudity to draw attention to its brand. But why label it risqué or controversial when it's standard, almost expected procedure to show skin in a Bluefly ad?

In 2005, the company launched a TV and print campaign featuring a woman hosting a dinner party and a closet full of clothes unworthy to wear during said party. The outcome, unsurprisingly, was the woman dropping trou, or black dress, to attend her party naked. Watch the ad here.

Last year's TV spot featured a couple readying for a night out on the town decked out in designer duds purchased on, but the heat of the moment takes over and they never make it past the bedroom. Watch the ad here.

"The campaign is much more about the feeling of being naked than it is about nudity -- and there's a difference," said Melissa Payner, President & CEO of

 "Your clothes are an expression of who you are, of your identity. And when you don't have the 'right' clothes to wear, you somehow feel naked to the core," she added.

"Our last print campaign brought that feeling to life and offered Bluefly as the antidote. Conversely, when you feel good in your clothes, you feel strong and confident, which is what our most recent TV commercial was all about," Payner said. "Is it risqué? In our minds, not at all. It's more about honesty and rawness than anything else, which to some, I suppose, is the most risqué of all."

Controversial, risqué or just the use nudity to garner some campaign attention? Post your thoughts to the Media Creativity blog.

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