JCPenney Accused of Sexism Again With Phoebe Cates Spot | Adweek JCPenney Accused of Sexism Again With Phoebe Cates Spot | Adweek
Advertisement

JCPenney Accused of Sexism Again With Phoebe Cates Spot 'Fast Times' scene offends

JCPenney, have you learned nothing lately? The answer will be obvious once you watch this new commercial, via Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, for men's clothing sold at the giant mall retailer. It uses a split screen to run a Fast Times at Ridgemont High scene of an 18-year-old Phoebe Cates soaking wet in a red bikini next to images of clothes targeted at men old enough to be her dad (as represented by the ad's spokesman, ESPN's Kenny Mayne). As if the ad needed more ick factor, the tagline is "Everybody wins." Oh, where to begin? It's head-scratching that the marketer launched this campaign so shortly after the hubbub over its T-shirt that said, "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me." Just in time for back to school! After an online furor, the retailer apologized for that shirt and axed it from its teen-girl fall fashion lineup. Now, there's this dirty-old-man ad, clearly aimed at guys who remember the iconic stoner flick and might have replayed that Cates scene in their heads a million times. That was almost 30 years ago. Using the pubescent Cates now is not only weird and random, it's just plain pervy. What, wasn't Gisele available? (Responding to one complaint on Facebook, JCPenney wrote: "We apologize that our advertising offended you. That certainly was not our intention. We have confirmed with our Marketing team that this particular ad campaign is scheduled to conclude at the end of [September] with no plans to re-air. Additionally, we have forwarded your comments to our Marketing team for consideration as they develop future advertising campaigns.") 

Get the The AdFreak Daily newsletter:

Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox for a confirmation email.

Advertisement

Sign up for AdFreak Newsletters

About AdFreak

AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd. Updated every weekday, with a weekly recap on Saturdays.

Click to Subscribe to AdFreak RSS