According to Lane Bryant, the retailer catering to plus-sized women, ABC initially rejected a television advertisement featuring a new line of intimate apparel that it had hoped to air during an episode of Dancing with the Stars. Lane Bryant claimed that the ad for its Cacique line was no more provocative than other commercials from retailers such as Victoria’s Secret and bra manufacturer Playtex that are routinely aired on network television during the same or similar time periods. Although Playtex does run ads for fuller-figure women (although not quite as daring), Lane Bryant called foul on the basis of size discrimination.
According to a Lane Bryant representative, ‘There was absolutely no rationale for us to be relegated to the back of the bus, when our ads were no more risque than those of Victoria’s Secret. The only difference is the size of our models. We would have expected better from a company owned by Disney.’
ABC responded by claiming it had never denied the ad and that Lane Bryant was simply capitalizing on the opportunity to seize publicity, which has definitely worked regardless of the truth.
In response, Lane Bryant has now released the contents of a memo that it claims proves its position in the matter. Dated April 9, the memo reads as follows: ‘UPON APPROVAL, THIS COMMERCIAL IS RESTRICTED FROM THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMMING/TIME PERIODS (ET): Post 9 PM: Extreme Makeover, Home Edition and Wipeout, Animated Wonderful World of Disney, Wonderful World of Disney, Dancing With the Stars, America’s Funniest Videos, Game Shows,’ all of which are definitely of family fare.
The controversial ad, which also caused a bit of a stir over at the FOX Network, is freely available on YouTube, courtesy of Lane Bryant: