[UPDATE: Here’s video of the commercial.]
[UPDATE #2: Lane Bryant has now published documents from ABC which show the ad was banned from prime time.]
[UPDATE #3: Lane Bryant lingerie model Ashley Graham — who stars in the ad — slammed Fox and ABC in an interview.]
According to AdWeek:
ABC “restricted [Lane Bryant’s] 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.”
And Lane Bryant has a good case for discrimination — the networks don’t seem to have an issue with the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which airs at primetime and features a plethora of scantily clad supermodels strutting their stuff down a glittering runway.
The ad, which we haven’t seen and which has been taken down from the Lane Bryant site and removed from YouTube, “depicts several attractive, plus-sized models in the latest line of Lane Bryant lingerie. Ample cleavage-which Bryant says was a problem for the nets — is on display.”
I wish I were surprised that this happened. There’s a reason magazines generally feature plus-size models in the buff — and it goes back to what Jezebel’s Jenna Sauers calls the “old trope of the voluptuous woman as sexually salacious.” So, yeah, Fox and ABC probably thought that the god-given cleavage a larger model has is that much more scandalous than the toned and self-contained figure of a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
It’s also worth noting that while Lane Bryant originally published their thoughts in a post on their official site — both AdWeek and Jezebel link to it in their write-ups — as far as we can tell, those links are now dead and just take us to a InsideCurve landing page. The post was titled, “The Lingerie Commercial Fox And ABC Did Not Want Its Viewers To See.”
Reps at both networks have not yet responded to requests for comment.