Despite Backlash, Calvin Klein Keeps Its Racy New Ads Online

Brand is staying silent and deleting nothing (nsfw)

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Calvin Klein surely knew its new ad campaign would ruffle some feathers, which is probably why it's choosing to weather the storm of online outrage rather than back down on its new creative.

While most of the buzz and backlash has been around an upskirt shot of 23-year-old Danish actress Klara Kristin, several of the campaign's new images (shot by millennial photography phenom Harley Weir) are sexually charged:

For now, all the images remain on Instagram and other social media channels, where they've generated thousands of comments—mostly negative. The brand has declined to respond to journalists covering the controversy or to consumers posting their grievances on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Calvin Klein also continues its long tradition of sparking controversy with outdoor executions of its ads with this Justin Bieber billboard in New York:

If the goal of the campaign was to boost the brand back into daily conversation and consternation, it's probably being seen by Calvin Klein as a massive success. Much of the backlash has been coming from the web's more conservative corners, like, and TheBlaze, which could give the brand a counterbalance lift among young shoppers looking to poke a finger in the establishment's eye.

However, the upskirt image specifically might not sit well with those who feel it tacitly encourages peeping-tom photography. 

Here's Adweek staff writer Kristina Monllos discussing the ad on ABC's Nightline last night:

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@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."