Wonderbra boss rounds on ‘sexist’ lingerie campaigns

The marketing director of Wonderbra has hit out at lingerie brands for their continued insistence on marketing to men and not their customers. Hervé Bailly, whose remit covers all of Sara Lee’s Playtex lingerie division, has also claimed that the days of “Beckham-esque” branded clothing are coming to an end.

Bailly has been speaking out following the launch of Wonderbra’s new advertising campaign (MW last week), which shows models fully clothed to demonstrate the effect of the shape-enhancing bras under clothes.

He says advertising and marketing that is designed to appeal to men rather than the end user is wrong, weak and “demeans women”. However, the “Hello Boys” Wonderbra advertising, which kick-started the trend a decade ago empowered women, he says, although that approach is now outdated.

Bailly particularly condemns the activity by Marks & Spencer’s Per Una and Splendourbra: both brands showcased their new lingerie lines to passers-by in London last week. “That is just attracting men’s attention, and I think it is terribly wrong and weak,” he says. “It demeans women. I don’t think this approach works any more and I believe that brands will begin to see this.”

Bailly says celebrity clothing ranges, are also becoming passé, and has ruled out introducing a celebrity collection. Kylie Minogue, supermodel Elle McPherson and glamour girl Jordan have all sponsored underwear ranges, while David Beckham has put his name to collections such as Marks & Spencer’s DB07 children’s range.

Bailly says: “We are coming to the end of the ‘Beckham’ brands. I don’t think this type of activity has a future because consumers have started to pick it up and think that the value may be just the name on the packaging and not the product itself.

“It is something we have investigated. We have asked the question several times in the past three years, but today more than ever we think it is the wrong way to go.”

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