The ever provocative lingerie label Victoria’s Secret has angered parents with their Spring Break-themed PINK line. They’ve deemed VS’s younger label, targeted at girls ages 15 – 22, too “sexy” (or perhaps “trashy” is the word they’re searching for). Lace-band thong underwear with “call me” on the front and underwear with “wild” written on it were two offending examples cited by angry parents.
A petition on Change.org calls for Victoria’s Secret to pull the “Bright Young Things” campaign that is advertising the Spring Break-inspired collection with advertising such as the pretty age-appropriate video below of girls dancing on the beach. The petition has received over 1300 signatures. It appears Victoria’s Secret may have complied with their wishes. The campaign is no longer featured on their website, and the specific products called out are no longer available.
Victoria’s Secret’s PR announced that this line was marketed towards college-aged girls, and not “teens and tweens” as parents are claiming. “In response to questions we recently received, Victoria’s Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women,” Victoria’s Secret said in a statement. “Despite recent rumours, we have no plans to introduce a collection for younger women. ‘Bright Young Things’ was a slogan used in conjunction with the college spring break tradition.”
This statement is inconsistent with PINK’s traditional demographic of 15 – 22. Victoria’s Secret executive Stuart Burgdoerfer reaffirmed the value of this market at a conference earlier this month, saying, “When somebody’s 15 or 16 years old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at PINK.”
The other thing that teenagers are really into? Anti-authoritarian underwear. So even though Victoria’s Secret is losing the battle on their super-tasteful “call me” underwear, for the larger branding strategy, this controversy probably isn’t the worst thing that could happen.