A commercial celebrating the body shapes of plus-sized models was rejected by major networks, the retailer Lane Bryant said, with one network claiming the ad did not “comply with broadcast indecency guidelines.”
The Lane Bryant ad was part of the #ThisBody campaign. It features plus-size models — including Ashley Graham, who made headlines for her appearance in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue — saying empowerment-oriented slogans like, “this body is made for proving them wrong.”
At some points the women are fully clothed, in others, they are in lingerie, and in some scenes, they appear to be nude — but shot in a way that did not defy the typical standards for nudity on television.
Lane Bryant told People that the ad “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,” the retailer said. “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.”
ABC did participate in People’s request for comment. NBC, however, refuted the claim the ad was flat-out rejected. Rather, the network said, they had asked Lane Bryant to edit 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,” NBC told People. “The ad was not rejected and we welcome the updated creative.”
In a statement to Racked, Lane Bryant said that it would not re-edit the ad.
“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,” the statement said. “We do plan to air this through our own media and through digital channels where they find it as acceptable.”
This is not the first time Lane Bryant has accused TV networks of rejected its lingerie ads. In 2010, the retailer said ABC refused to air one of its ads during Dancing With the Stars, a claim ABC denied, and even released correspondence it said showed that the network banned the ad from running in “family hour.”
At the time, Lane Bryant pointed out that a Victoria’s Secret ad with scantily-clad models was allowed to run in that time slot.