Ever since this year began, indecency has become a national obsession. Limited Brands
Limited Brands said its move is not fully related to the FCC and Janet's wardrobe malfunction, which we all know caused political commotion, not to mention some serious TiVo
The fashion show, which of course consists of supermodels parading about in skimpy undergarments, has dealt with scrutiny from the FCC in the past. The show, which this year would have been on Viacom's
In another situation, I might worry that the indecency backlash is going too far. Some reported edits of network television shows right after the Super Bowl incident bordered on the absurd, such as a highly publicized scene on ER.
However, Limited's move makes sense. Not only does it avoid any possible flak in the event of another wardrobe "malfunction," it appeases the groups who see the fashion show as objectifying women and pushing unrealistic body image. (Not to mention, Victoria's Secret isn't Playboy
Now to the crux of the matter. According to news reports, the show costs $10 million, and in addition to flagging ratings, the show failed to give much proof that it drove traffic to the stores. Which brings me to my main point -- women are Victoria's Secret's main shoppers. So much for appealing to the store's main target demographic. I don't know any women who fire up the Jiffy Pop to sit down and watch the fashion show; if the show once served a branding purpose, at this point, nobody really needs convincing that the brand is "sexy."
So, spending that $10 million on advertising to appeal to the actual shoppers who see Victoria's Secret as a day-to-day brand, not an eye candy event -- is a better concept. Investors won't miss the fashion show at all.
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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.