J.C. Penney and its ad agency, DDB Chicago, may have gone too far in efforts to make the retailer relevant to hip teens. A DDB TV spot that showed a mother helping her daughter expose more midriff by lowering a pair of hip-hugging jeans was yanked from the air after offended shoppers sounded off.
"After receiving several complaints, we decided the ad was too forward for some of our customers," a representative at Penney's Plano, Texas, headquarters said. A DDB representative declined comment.
The spot, called "Adjustment," shows a girl trying on jeans being interrupted by her mother. Mom shows her the "proper" way to wear the pants by pulling them down further.
The spot was an attempt to promote the retailer as the "hip, cool" place to buy back-to-school clothes, the store representative said.
Several other spots from DDB attempting the same outcome remain on the air. In "Sing-a-long," a mother picking up her daughter from school starts jamming to the Sonny and Cher tune "The Beat Goes On."
In "Self Expression," teenagers ask if they can get a tattoo, dye their hair or make other radical changes to their appearance. A voiceover assures viewers that, unlike those radical changes, the fashions at Penney's are something both parents and teens can come to terms on.