Brands leap into Victoria's Secret 'Perfect Body' fray

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Dove's "Perfect Real Body."
Dove's "Perfect Real Body."

Dove, JD Williams build on the body-image backlash against the lingerie vendor

LONDON — Dove and fashion retailer JD Williams have joined in the customer backlash against the Victoria's Secret "Perfect Body" campaign, which has been slammed for sending out the wrong message to young women.

The campaign launched last week across the brand's U.K. stores and U.S. website, with an image showing slender models in Victoria’s Secret lingerie and emblazoned with the slogan "The Perfect ‘Body."

The ad references the brand’s body range, but critics said the campaign was damaging to women’s self-esteem.

Machester, U.K.-based fashion retailer JD Williams has responded with its own "Perfectly Imperfect" campaign, encouraging users to share their favorite aspects of themselves under the #FavouriteFlaw hashtag on Twitter.

JD Williams' 'Perfectly Imperfect' campaign

"We have a responsibility as a retailer to promote positive body image to our customers," a spokesman for the retailer said. "And that means being representative of women in the U.K."

Dove has also stepped into the fray, releasing an image of curvier women in their underwear with the slogan "The Perfect Real Body," in reference to its "Real Beauty" campaign.

"Today we celebrate the perfect REAL body and all the women who have said "#IAmPerfect the way I am," the brand tweeted.

Retailer Dear Kate has also recreated the Victoria’s Secret ad to show women from a range of different ethnicities and body shapes wearing its underwear.

A petition created on Change.org calls on Victoria’s Secret to apologize and amend its "irresponsible" campaign. So far it has received more than 20,000 signatures.

It appears that Victoria’s Secret has pulled the image off its website. The company has yet to respond to a request for comment.

This story first appeared on marketingmagazine.co.uk.

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