- Lane Bryant’s Underwear Ad Got Rejected by NBC and ABC
- Here’s The Lane Bryant Ad That Networks Supposedly Refused To Air
- Danielle Brooks Says Her New Lane Bryant Ad Taught Her to Embrace Her Bloat and “Love Handles”
- ‘OITNB’s’ Danielle Brooks, Ashley Graham Take on Online Trolls in Lane Bryant Campaign
- The campaign, dubbed #ThisBody Is Made to Shine, is meant to “strip away the adversity experienced and show all women that it is possible to continue to shine despite what anyone has to say.”
- Danielle Brooks said she’s gotten tons of positive reactions to her body positive Lane Bryant campaign
- In a series of photos and videos, the women share their body positivity journeys and dance.
- Danielle Brooks makes sure to remind people that it is representation that truly changes hearts and mind.
- Ashley Graham gives behind-the-scenes look at Sports Illustrated shoot
- Lane Bryant redefines ‘sexy’ through #ImNoAngel!
Lane Bryant’s Underwear Ad Got Rejected by NBC and ABC
Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Lane Bryant’s latest underwear ad, featuring Ashley Graham and other plus-size models, was reportedly rejected by NBC and ABC, according to TMZ.
If this is feeling like deja vu, that’s because a similar thing happened in 2010 with an Ashley Graham Lane Bryant ad. Back then, Lane Bryant claimed that ABC was being sizeist by rejecting its ad, while ABC alleged that it treated Lane Bryant the same as any other brand and that the whole thing was a publicity stunt.
The brand’s new “This Body” underwear ad contains women in their underwear, naturally. There’s a bit of mild nudity and a quick shot of a breastfeeding model. But is it any different than any other ad on television, asides from the fact that plus size models are featured? Here’s Victoria’s Secret YouTube channel for comparison.
Lane Bryant said in a statement to Racked:
The This Body campaign was meant to be a fun way for us to celebrate and honor women of all shapes and sizes. What is too much for some does not hold true for others. All women should be celebrated and feel empowered to express themselves as they see fit. We want her to know she can attract as much media attention, look just as striking as any woman, and decide what beautiful means to her. The This Body commercial holds nothing back. It is a true celebration of women of all sizes doing what makes THEM feel beautiful whether its breastfeeding their newborn, flaunting their bodies the way they see fit, breaking down barriers all around and simply being who they are or want to be!
Meanwhile, NBC told the Daily News that the network didn’t outright reject the ad. “As part of the normal advertising standards process, we reviewed a rough cut of the ad and asked for minor edits to comply with broadcast indecency guidelines,” the statement read. “The ad was not rejected and we welcome the updated creative.”
Lane Bryant isn’t the only recent example of ads geared toward women being banned. This fall, NYC’s Mass Transit Authority originally deemed Thinx’s “period-proof” underwear subway ads “inappropriate,” but then changed its mind after an outcry on social media.
Update: Lane Bryant told Racked that the brand will not edit the ad and resubmit it:
The first edit was turned down out of hand and while we clearly created the commercial to air we will not edit it as we believe it’s a beautiful and appropriate expression of women’s bodies. We do plan to air this through our own media and through digital channels where they find it as acceptable.
Here’s The Lane Bryant Ad That Networks Supposedly Refused To Air
Both ABC and NBC passed on the commercial, according to TMZ, offering up no actual reasoning behind turning the ad down, merely saying that it couldn’t be aired “as is.” NBC allegedly went so far as to suggest making a small edit to comply with the indecency guidelines for broadcast TV, although it’s not clear what would have to be edited out.
As with anything that gets deemed “too something or other” to get seen by the general public, there’s a line in the sand where you’re either in agreement that this wasn’t fit to be aired on TV or you think that the networks in question are completely ridiculous for balking at the undergarments ad. We’re not interested in guiding anyone over to either angle, because we like to keep our debates on the lighter side, but it’s worth thinking about how this banned commercial compares to some of the other things that are allowed to happen on TV.
Ashley Graham and the other models are in the buff for part of the Lane Bryant spot, and in bras and panties during the rest. But this is hardly the only clothing company (or TV show) to show some skin to draw some eyeballs, and one has to wonder if Victoria’s Secret ever gets any of its commercials axed for content. That’s when the argument shifts to these being plus-sized models and hinges on the media’s supposed preference for putting skinny people in front of a camera. But no one in an official capacity would likely ever admit to that being the issue, so the argument is void here.
If the offensive thing here isn’t semi-nudity and/or curvy bodies, then the only other part of the ad that could possibly raise a censor’s eyebrow is the breastfeeding moment. Not a lot of comparisons to make here, since not a lot of shows breach that motherly act, especially on broadcast TV. But breastfeeding has become a hot button topic in recent years, so while I wouldn’t be in favor of this ad getting pulled over it, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the reason, either.
Sometimes banned commercials involve KISS’ Paul Stanley singing about coffee, and sometimes they involve full-figured women stretching and throwing kicks. What do you guys think about it?
We still haven’t forgotten…
- Another time Lane Bryant had some issues with one of their lingerie commericals airing on TV.
- That time Target got called out for describing a plus-size version of one of their dresses as “Manitee Gray”
- Time Magazine’s controversial breastfeeding cover photo.
See a recent Victoria’s Secret lingerie ad that wasn’t banned on the next page or click over and vote in our poll to share your thoughts…
Danielle Brooks Says Her New Lane Bryant Ad Taught Her to Embrace Her Bloat and “Love Handles”
During last night’s Emmy Awards, Lane Bryant’s newest “I’m No Angel” commercial debuted, featuring three faces well-known in the plus-size modeling and body-pos worlds: Candice Huffine, who’s shutting down archaic “runner’s body” stereotypes, Denise Bidot, who is on a mission to make stretch marks beautiful, and Ashley Graham, who hardly needs an introduction at all anymore.
The fourth model rocking Lane Bryant’s Cacique line of lingerie: Actress and body-positive activist Danielle Brooks, who, although most famous for playing Taystee on Orange Is the New Black, has also made a name for herself in the fashion world. Last year, Brooks walked the runway at the Christian Siriano for Lane Bryant show, and was featured in the brand’s #ThisBody campaign. She also just added designer to her résumé, announcing last week on Instagram that she’s collaborating with Universal Standard on a size-inclusive collection. And it’s all part of her mission to let curvy women know they’re just as deserving of feeling sexy-in both clothes and lingerie.
We talked to Brooks about what it’s like to pose in your lingerie for a national campaign (#bloat is real), the workout that makes her feel badass, and how she’s learned to love her love handles.
On getting over bloat insecurity during her shoot:
“I’ve done these kinds of shoots before, and most of the time I freak out a little bit when the picture comes out. I’m like, Oh my God this is the one they chose? And then I come back to really loving the picture. But this time, the challenge for me was actually during the shoot because I was feeling so bloated, and it was making me feel uncomfortable. I was worried about how I was looking in the lingerie. Then at one point, I put a picture on my Instagram of me just lifting my shirt up and I was like, you know what? Why am I even caring about this? This is my body, this is where it is today, and I’ve gotta roll with it. I’ve gotta love it. And that’s what I did. I love the shots now and I hope that other women find the strength to love their body at whatever stage it’s at-even when they’re feeling their most bloated.”
Why seeing plus-size women in lingerie is so important:
“For me it’s important to be the representation that I wanted when I was a young girl. When I first saw this Lane Bryant campaign, before I had been a part of it, I saw the buses go by with these beautiful women that looked like me, being confident in their skin and not hiding their beauty. And I just remember being so excited every time I would walk down 42nd street and see a bus or go down the subway and see that campaign and feel that boost of confidence. So when it came time and I was asked to be a part of ‘I’m No Angel 2.0,’ I was overjoyed. For a lot of plus-size women, you don’t see advertisements for yourself. That’s why that representation really matters. When this commercial comes out people are going to be really excited because they’re going to say, Oh, I can actually get that and I know where to shop for that. I know that it’s going to fit my body that way. I see it on Danielle or I see it on Denise.”
On finding her life’s passion like her Orange Is the New Black character:
“In season 5, Taystee is at the forefront of fighting for justice and dealing with the loss of her friend. I feel that we all have missions and purposes in life. Part of mine is allowing women to feel beautiful in whatever they put on-or don’t put on. So yes, it’s important for me in my mission to continuously talk about it, to continuously challenge high-fashion designers to design for and dress women that are bigger, even though I’m not necessarily considered a model first. To continuously say: I want to see myself on screen, I want to see myself reflected on runways, I want to see myself reflected in magazines. It’s not just some fantasy. We are here and we need to be seen. Our presence should be made.”
Why she added clothing designer to her résumé:
“Designing wasn’t something that I was always into, but I wasn’t able to find clothes that I wanted to wear. I wanted to be able to walk into any store and have an idea of what I want and go and get it. And that hasn’t been an option, so it only made sense to step into that position, because why not? Why not give that a chance? I wanted to create pieces that I want and also share that with every woman who has felt the same way. Clothing is so much a part of who we are, that’s our way of expressing ourselves. So I think it’s just great that we’re finally starting to have options, whether it’s with clothing or with Cacique, who I think is definitely leading the charge when it comes to intimates.”
She continues to work out shirtless-and doesn’t compare herself to anyone else:
“When I first made that Instagram video I discovered that my challenge isn’t to be like anyone else. My challenge is to be better than I was the day before. We have to remember that we can’t look at the person beside us and say, oh I want what they have. That’s sort of the norm of our society thanks to Instagram and Twitter and all of that, right? But that mindset is unhealthy. To compare yourself with anyone else is unrealistic. We’re all made differently and we have to start to see the beauty within ourselves. So for me, I will continue to go to the gym with my shirt off. And it’s not just for me but it’s also for that woman who is struggling with confidence. And it’s not just plus-size women. There are women who are size 0’s and 2’s that also are having moments of struggle to love their bodies. So I think that if I can walk confidently in my skin, then hopefully that will give someone else the confidence to do the same and not only stop judging themselves but to also stop judging others. I try to find the love within myself first and then hopefully that’ll have a ripple effect on other people. That’s my whole MO.”
Why obsessed with sweating:
“I have a wonderful trainer who’s actually plus-size named Morit Sommers, who has worked with Ashley Graham in the past. She’s amazing. Normally we work out three times a week together doing strength-training and I really like weightlifting, but lately I’ve been obsessed with the stair-stepper. The stair-stepper has been my jam. I know people hate it but I love it. It’s such a full-body workout. You work out all your muscles and then there’s the cardio of it all. I can do that for 10 minutes and I’m sweating buckets! My normal cardio circuit when I’m on my own: 20 minutes on the stair-stepper, a mile on the treadmill, which takes me roughly 15 minutes, and then 10 minutes on the rower. I’ll just do that and then I feel set for the day. If I can’t do that, then I at least do 20 minutes of the stair-stepper. It’s a good boost for me to start my day off and to wake up and to get a good solid sweat.”
On ditching the scale-and the pressure-in the gym:
“As women, so much of our goal with working out is to lose weight, and sometimes in that desire to lose weight, we forget to take care of our spirit. We become so consumed with the scale. We forget that our bodies, more so than men, are so in flux all the time. Our hormones are changing constantly. I think sometimes we need to really give ourselves a break and say, You know what today I’m not going to focus on the scale. Today I’m going to focus on loving myself and getting to this gym and getting a good workout. That’s all I’m going to focus on. I’m not going to worry about how many calories I burn. I’m not going to worry about whether I beat my running time. Today I’m just going to get in here and show myself love. That’s been really helpful for me lately, because there are pressures of standing in your lingerie and exposing yourself like that-people are always ready to be cyberbullies. It’s important for me to just get rid of all of that pressure.”
The body insecurity she’s finally getting over:
“I’m learning to love my love handles. For the longest time I hated them because I felt I couldn’t wear certain outfits, and because I definitely did not see women in magazines showing them. But as time went on and I started to see women embracing their ‘love handles’ in commercials for brands like Lane Bryant, I realized it’s normal and okay to own a pair myself.”
- By Kylie Gilbert @KylieMGilbert
‘OITNB’s’ Danielle Brooks, Ashley Graham Take on Online Trolls in Lane Bryant Campaign
The campaign, dubbed #ThisBody Is Made to Shine, is meant to “strip away the adversity experienced and show all women that it is possible to continue to shine despite what anyone has to say.”
Lane Bryant, the clothing retailer for sizes 14 through 28, sees your hateful, fat-shaming comments on social media and is addressing them head-on with its latest campaign starring Orange Is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks, Empire’s Gabourey Sidibe and models Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine and Alessandra Garcia-Lorido (daughter of actor Andy Garcia).
The campaign, dubbed #ThisBody Is Made to Shine, is meant to “strip away the adversity experienced and show all women that it is possible to continue to shine despite what anyone has to say,” said Brian Beitler, CMO of Lane Bryant, in a release. “The women in this campaign shut down their naysayers and do what’s right for them. They thrive on proving others and even themselves wrong. We are hopeful it will help women flip the script and silence the shaming while challenging the societal norms and encouraging everyone to rise above.”
“No one should be comfortable in a size 14,” reads one of the comments in the black-and-white campaign video, filmed by Cass Bird. To which Brooks responds, “Well I sure the hell am.” Another comment reads: “Do you see those rolls …” Huffine’s response? “Welcome to the bakery, honey.”
Lane Bryant’s previous #IAmNoAngel campaign made headlines last year, challenging the idea of standardized beauty and redefining what it means to be sexy and curvy. Graham and Huffine were also featured in the #IAmNoAngel ads.
“With previous campaigns we’ve helped to disrupt the dated and ridiculous views and depictions of the ‘perfect’ body displayed in the media,” said Linda Heasley, CEO and president of Lane Bryant. “With #ThisBody Is Made to Shine we intend to encourage women to embrace even more positivity and turn the tables on negativity in order to overcome social misconceptions.”
Lane Bryant isn’t the only retailer to shine a light on body positivity. Aerie, owned by American Eagle Outfitters, has also advocated for unretouched photos with its non-Photoshopped Aerie Real campaign that featured everyday women (and men). Designer Christian Siriano, who recently penned a THR op-ed on designing for a range of women on the red carpet, also featured a variety of models (Garcia-Lorido included) for his spring 2017 runway show.
Danielle Brooks said she’s gotten tons of positive reactions to her body positive Lane Bryant campaign
If you’re looking for something to brighten up your day, look no further. Actress Danielle Brooks said she’s gotten tons of positive reactions to her body positive Lane Bryant campaign! She is going to continue her mission of promoting body positivity. Furthermore, other designers will see the value of doing this themselves.
Danielle joins other celebrities including Gabourey Sidibe, Ashley Graham, and Candice Huffine in Lane Bryant’s #ThisBody campaign. Lane Bryant carries clothes from size 14-28.
According to an interview between the Orange Is The New Black fan favorite and The Cut, the reaction to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. Brooks said:
“I have not really come across too many trolls, which is nice. Women are seeing themselves and are feeling beautiful about their bodies because they’re having people who are bold enough to say that they’re fearless in their skin.”
Danielle Brooks makes sure to remind people that it is representation that truly changes hearts and mind.
By seeing different types of women on screen and in advertisements, we lessen the societal stigmas that say women should look a certain way. Instead, we make it safe for any woman to feel glamorous and well-dressed. Brooks continues by saying:
“It’s been cool to get their reaction and see women be proud to be in bathing suits and not be afraid of showing stretch marks or whatever.”
Danielle Brooks is the perfect spokesperson for this movement. Not only are her characters powerful, she doesn’t hold anything back in real life, either. Her fashion taste is impeccable, inspiring other women to dress however they want, no matter what their size is.
- By Dasha Fayvinova
We’re swooning over this ad for plus-size retailer Lane Bryant, in which Precious Lee, a size-14 African American woman takes center stage.
“This body is made to be uncovered,” reads the powerful ad, alongside a striking image of Lee in a white bikini.
RELATED: ‘We’re making history’: Go behind the scenes of Ashley Graham’s Sports Illustrated shoot
— POPSUGAR Fashion (@POPSUGARFashion) February 12, 2016
The best part? The ad is featured in the pages of Sports Illustrated’s 2016 swimsuit issue — a bold move that comes on the heels of a few other similarly-motivated choices by the magazine. The 2016 issue has already made waves for its triple cover, featuring Hailey Clauson, plus-size model Ashley Graham and martial artist Ronda Rousey.
Ashley Graham gives behind-the-scenes look at Sports Illustrated shoot
Feb. 15, 201602:27
Other exciting choices include 56-year-old model Nicola Griffin, British Ghanaian model Philomena Kwao and plus-size model Robyn Lawley.
RELATED: Sports Illustrated releases 3 swimsuit covers: Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey, Hailey Clauson
“We’re making history,” Graham told TODAY Monday. “And this issue is dedicated to all my curvy women out there.”
shout out to the 2 beautiful black +size women in sports illustrated ads this year! @PreciousLeeXOXO @PhilomenaKwao pic.twitter.com/feL1F4Bbrx
— gabifresh (@gabifresh) February 14, 2016
Instagram/Universal Standard By Crystal Tate · September 19, 2017
In 2015, Lane Bryant threw shade at Victoria’s Secret with their “I’m No Angel” lingerie campaign, and now the campaign is back and feature actress Danielle Brooks! Last night during the 2017 Emmy Awards, Lane Bryant debuted the commercial for the brand’s Cacique lingerie line.
A revolution in the making. No filters. No fears. No looking back. #ImNoAngel is here.
Brooks stars in the commercial alongside plus size models Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine and Denise Bidot. This is Brooks’ second campaign with Lane Bryant. The campaign, which promotes body positivity and encourages women to love their shapes, highlights all four women unabashedly showing off their bodies in lingerie.
In the commercial, they discuss their body insecurities including love handles, cellulite and stretch marks, and their overall empowering message to all women and their body flaws is simply “Own it!” Or as Brooks powerfully states, “Dare to be your sexy!”
Recently, Brooks has definitely been making quite the name for herself in the fashion world. The Orange Is the New Black actress also recently collaborated with Universal Standard on an upcoming fashion line.
Watch Lane Bryant’s new commercial below.
Share : TOPICS: Celebrity Fashion Danielle Brooks
Lane Bryant redefines ‘sexy’ through #ImNoAngel!
by Elena Mihajlovska
The plus size clothing brand Lane Bryant has launched a campaign dedicated to women of all shapes and sizes. The new campaign presents a lingerie collection and shoots straight in the direction of Victoria’s Secret as it is called #ImNoAngel. The goal is to empower all women around the world to feel sexy no matter their size or shape, and to learn to love every part of their body.
Apart from being a great way of promoting the lingerie, #ImNoAngel promotes fair representation of body types in fashion and the media. Obviously, this has created an ongoing intense debate. Victoria’s Secret fans certainly did not like the ‘open attack’ on the angels of Victoria’s Secret.
However, more numerous were the ones who supported this idea while taking selfies with the #ImNoAngel hashtag.
selfies supporting #ImNoAngel
It’s true that the famous Victoria’s Secret Angles impose unrealistic standards for women through the media, so it is heartening to see someone who is trying to celebrate diversity. Who knows, maybe Lane Bryant will be the one who redefines sexy!
Now, let’s check the beautiful plus size models that are part of this campaign: Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, Candice Huffine, Victoria Lee, Justine Legault and Elly Mayday.
Models of all shapes and sizes, you’re welcome to join Modelmanagement.com! The only thing you need to have is a desire to become a successful model. Sign up today!
Other posts you may like:
Get discovered through Fresh Faces 2015 model contest!
We’ve got the proof: Models who don’t meet the industry standard measurements CAN BE successful!
A body-positive Lane Bryant commercial is causing a minor uproar after TV networks deemed it too risqué to air.
The 30-second spot, entitled “This Body,” features plus-sized models in scant clothing — or none at all — talking about the pride they take in their bodies, and in one case, breast-feeding a baby.
Among its stars is Ashley Graham, who was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue this year.
A spokesperson for Lane Bryant said the ad has been rejected “out of hand” by ABC and NBC.
NBC said in a statement provided to Mashable that the network did not reject the ad but instead asked the company for “minor edits” so that the commercial would meet its decency standards. ABC declined to comment on the decision.
“As part of the normal advertising standards process, we reviewed a rough cut of the ad and asked for minor edits to comply with broadcast indecency guidelines,” an NBC rep said. “The ad was not rejected and we welcome the updated creative.”
Lane Bryant claims the networks did not specify the offending parts of the ad. The NBC rep wouldn’t comment further on why the commercial was considered indecent.
#ThisBody | Lane Bryant
The networks didn’t want you to see this. But we do. Share. Tag. Show everyone what #ThisBody’s made for.
Posted by Lane Bryant on Thursday, March 10, 2016
But that didn’t stop thousands of Internet users from watching the ad on the brand’s Facebook page and flooding it with supportive messages. As of Friday afternoon, the video had racked up nearly 1 million views, more than 36,000 reactions and 3,000 comments.
People also spoke out against the networks’ decision on Twitter with the hashtag #ThisBody.
— Jacopo della Quercia (@Jacopo_della_Q) March 11, 2016
Body shaming isn’t OK. All bodies are good bodies. #bodypositive #thisbody @nbc @abcnetwork @lanebryant https://t.co/JYUKMh3sES
— Andrea T. (@janehax) March 11, 2016
#ThisBody is made for CONTROVERSY. @theashleygraham https://t.co/X6V9sER9wx pic.twitter.com/0SOULyZBuk
— SI Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) March 11, 2016
While the brand was denied the opportunity to reach millions of network TV viewers, the “banned” status certainly seems to be a boon for its publicity.
Lane Bryant has capitalized on the edginess of it all — a rare look for the staid plus-sized clothing retailer — by billing the video as the commercial “the networks didn’t want you to see” on social media.
A Lane Bryant spokesperson said the campaign is meant to be a fun way to “celebrate and honor women of all shapes and sizes.”
The retailer has no plans to make the ad more TV-friendly, but will continue to push the video through its social media channels.
“What is too much for some does not hold true for others,” a Lane Bryant spokesperson said in a statement. “All women should be celebrated and feel empowered to express themselves as they see fit. We want her to know she can attract as much media attention, look just as striking as any woman, and decide what beautiful means to her.”
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
In the ‘90s, Vogue promoted heroin chic with a very thin Kate Moss. Fast forward to this week, and model Ashley Graham—who is a size 16—lands on Vogue’s March cover, becoming the first plus-size person to do so.
Graham also takes center stage this month in a just-launched Lane Bryant ad, promoting its new Prabal Gurung line. In the past, the retailer has carried lines from designers Isabel Toledo, Sophie Theallet, Melissa McCarthy and Christian Siriano, but arguably, none have been as chic as Gurung, who counts former first lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Kerry Washington as fans.
“There was a certain level of fashion that hadn’t obtained yet,” said Hans Dorsinville, partner, evp and group creative director at Lane Bryant’s AOR, Laird + Partners. “Prabal was going to be the gateway, so that the conversation could keep getting elevated because we needed the conversation to go up to the image makers, so that Vogue would actually talk about this. And the idea of using Ashley was really important, too, because she is really the crossover model. It was very much a conscious choice to have all of those things align.”
The “Prabal Gurung X Lane Bryant” campaign features a 30-second digital film and a two-page spread in Vogue’s March issue, photographed by the same duo that shot the Vogue cover: Inez and Vinoodh. Other digital elements include 10 behind-the-scenes videos, which will show up on social media and YouTube.
This time last year, Graham tackled another plus-size first, by gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated’s famed Swimsuit Issue. Lane Bryant model Precious Lee took the gatefold ad inside. Shortly after, Lane Bryant debuted a TV ad featuring a naked Graham that was initially rejected by NBC and ABC; it’s since aired.
But the timing of Graham’s groundbreaking magazine cover appearances and Lane Bryant’s campaigns is no accident. The marketer strategically timed its most recent ad with the Vogue cover, and Graham ended up on Sports Illustrated’s cover thanks to CMO Brian Beitler, a veteran marketer from David’s Bridal and Kohl’s, whom Lane Bryant hired in 2014.
When speaking at the Ad Club’s 2015 Media Innovation Day, he took issue with the magazine’s lack of body diversity, knowing that Sports Illustrated was in attendance. The next day, the magazine’s publisher offered an olive branch that resulted in Graham being on the cover in addition to Lee’s gatefold ad.
“Part of the reason I joined Lane Bryant was an opportunity to reshape the perspective on Lane Bryant as a fashion brand. The brand had become a little dated and tired in terms of its approach, and we wanted certainly to demonstrate that this brand is as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago, when it was founded,” Beitler said.
At first, Beitler’s collaboration with Laird + Partners was all about magalogs—the love child of a catalog and a magazine. But then Victoria’s Secret launched an underwear line dubbed “The Perfect Body” in the fall of 2014, and Lane Bryant saw an opportunity.
“We thought, let’s use that as our comparison point” for the “I’m No Angel” campaign, Dorsinville said. If you’re a Victoria’s Secret Angel, you have a body like Adriana Lima, he said, “and then these women don’t have a body like that, so they are not Angels. But not being an Angel is not a negative thing. Not being an Angel means you’re yourself and you are going to be celebrated for the body that you have.”
The result was a targeted outdoor campaign in major cities—think New York City subway wraps and Sunset Boulevard billboards—that featured the then largely unknown Graham and other plus-size models wearing Lane Bryant’s Cacique lingerie. “There wasn’t anyone putting bodies that were different than the stereotype on the sides of buses, in large-scale billboards or in television ads other than a couple players like Dove who had taken on real bodies, but even those real bodies were very small and fairly standard,” Beitler said. “Our goal was to say there’s a much broader range of bodies that should be celebrated.”
And it worked. Lane Bryant, who spent $8.5 million last year in advertising according to Kantar Media, followed “I’m No Angel” with its “Plus Is Equal” campaign, timed with New York Fashion Week in 2015, to challenge the stick-skinny models coming down the catwalks. The next year, it focused on the “This Body” tagline, featuring “Orange Is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks. Also in 2016, Graham scored the aforementioned Sports Illustrated cover.
“We obviously had worked hard to develop a relationship with a magazine that had been synonymous with projecting not as diverse stereotypes,” Beitler said. “This was another time when we could step forward and say, ‘No, there’s a different perspective on what looks beautiful and who is beautiful inside of a swimsuit.’ Every campaign has been tied to cultural moments where stereotypes were going to be projected, and we wanted to challenge those stereotypes.”
One stereotype Beitler would like to bust is the one that spells death for brick-and-mortar retailers. He admits that Lane Bryant hasn’t seen hockey-stick growth since he came on board in 2014: “We, like everyone, are facing the tough retail world, so I can’t say that it’s been straight line growth. It hasn’t.” Ascena Retail Group, Inc., which owns Lane Bryant and brands like Ann Taylor and kids’ retailer Justice, reported stagnant sales for its first fiscal quarter of 2017 at $1.67 billion, $245 million belonging to Lane Bryant, down 4 percent from the same time last year. But the brand is making digital strides by switching to a responsive website design later this month, and has seen increased social media following and engagement metrics.
Sales may be flatlining, but culturally, Lane Bryant—along with Vogue, Sports Illustrated and yes, Graham—is surging forward.
“The reality is that 67 percent of women in this country are size 14 and larger. If you look across America, what you see versus what’s being projected is very, very different,” Beitler said. “The plus category has been the fastest growing part of the apparel industry. And people weren’t celebrating as she was, so we wanted both give her permission to say, ‘You can spend on yourself today as you are. You don’t need to be waiting for some change in your body to do that.’”
Sports Illustrated cover model Ashley Graham stars in it, saying that her body was “made for being bold, powerful, and sexy.” Another model is shown breast feeding.
NBC said that the ad wasn’t rejected but that it needs to be re-edited to “comply with broadcast indecency guidelines.” ABC hasn’t yet released a statement.
Regardless, the so-called “banned” ad is getting lots of promotion on Facebook. Lane Bryant posted the ad to its page yesterday and has already generated 800,000 views and 20,000 shares in less than 24 hours.
The networks didn’t want you to see this. But we do. Share. Tag. Show everyone what #ThisBody’s made for.
Posted by Lane Bryant on Thursday, March 10, 2016
Many of the 600 comments are supportive of Lane Bryant, with one woman writing: “Shame on you Lane Bryant that you should show beauty in all its shapes, sizes, and the “normal” things women do with their bodies (she says sarcastically).”
For Lane Bryant, the controversy is part of its marketing that’s centered on plus-sized models, sometimes in lingerie. “The plus-size woman is not a dowdy, insecure person,” Lane Bryant’s CMO Brian Beitler recently told Digiday. “She’s loud and proud. These women feel beautiful. They’re confident, and they want their fashion to convey that.”