Lane Bryant’s controversial new lingerie ad has been given an airdate on Fox, April 28, during the closing minutes of the 9 p.m. edition of American Idol.
The women’s clothing manufacturer had claimed both Fox and ABC objected to the commercial’s content.
Though the commercial will now air on Idol, both client and media still seem peeved. LB has accused the networks of bias against large-size women—and the networks have denied such claims, accusing LB of trying to milk a non-story for publicity purposes.
LB took its battle to the blogosphere Tuesday with a rather testy entry on its Inside Curve venue, lambasting Fox and ABC for resisting efforts to place the ad in shows including Dancing With the Stars and Idol.
LB complained that it was being treated differently from Victoria’s Secret, which has aired spots on both networks. The marketer essentially accused the networks of having a bias against larger women, with presumably more to show when wearing lingerie compared to the “waif-like” models in the VS ads, which LB said “run regularly” on both nets. “There’s no difference other than they’re bigger girls,” the LB representative said.
The blog entry and ad were posted Tuesday and taken down Wednesday due to what an LB rep said was a “legal trademark issue.” Both are now available online. “It had nothing to do with the content” of either the blog item or the ad, the rep said of their temporary removal.
The rep said the company was still steamed at the networks, given that the marketer hoped to break the spot in this week’s shows. “[We’re] disappointed that Fox rejected the ad three times before they finally agreed to air it next week,” the LB rep said.
Fox sources countered, however, that it frequently asks marketers to re-edit spots just as it did with Bryant as well as with Victoria’s Secret ads that have aired. The sources said LB’s refusal to comply with requested changes caused the delay that prevented it from airing this week. “Following Lane Bryant’s refusal to make requested edits, Fox agreed to air the unedited ad during the last 10 minutes” of next Wednesday’s Idol program at 9 p.m., a source said.
The Fox sources said the VS ad that aired this week on Idol complied with requested edits “and was specifically produced to meet Fox’s standards for American Idol.”
Fox sources also pointed to the fact that they have aired Playtex underwear ads for “full-figured women” on American Idol to counter LB’s accusation that the network has a bias against plus-sized females. The sources also stressed that the VS ads air only on the 9 p.m. Idol programs, not at 8 p.m.
In a statement, ABC said of LB: “Their statements are not true. The ad was accepted. Lane Bryant was treated absolutely no differently than any advertiser for the same product. We were willing to accommodate them, but they chose to seek publicity instead.”
There is no immediate word on when the ad will air on ABC.