Victoria’s Secret won’t be showing off its latest lingerie on a network show—not this year, anyway.
Limited Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, has decided to scrap plans for its “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” scheduled to air on CBS. A Limited Brands spokesman has given various reasons for the cancellation.
Ed Razek, chief marketing officer for Limited Brands, told Associated Press the company cancelled the show mainly in order to find fresh ways to promote the product. Limited Brands spent $10 million producing the show in the past, according to a CNN/Money article, and it wanted to redirect those funds down other marketing avenues.
Razek added, though, “We had to make the decision probably six to eight weeks ago when the heat was on the television networks.”
The heat was up because of the now-infamous Super Bowl halftime show, during which pop singer Justin Timberlake ripped a piece of clothing away from singer Janet Jackson, exposing her breast.
After the incident, both singers blamed the incident on a “wardrobe malfunction,” but public outcry put pressure on CBS, which broadcast the event, as well as other TV networks.
Razek told CNN/Money after the cancellation was made public, however, that the Timberlake-Jackson incident wasn’t a deciding factor in the decision.
“Some are saying that the show is not running because of the Super Bowl incident, but that’s not really the case,” Razek told the media outlet. “Clearly, we could’ve gotten the show on air if we wanted to.”
He also told BrandWeek.com that the decision not to air the show was “a mutual one” between Limited Brands and CBS. He added that his company had explored the possibility of placing the show with another network, but ultimately decided to forgo any such plans.
Olga Vives, vice president of the National Organization for Women, told AP the decision to cancel was a good one, adding that she hoped the show wouldn’t ever air again.
“We’re concerned young women think they have to look this way,” Vives told the news service.
Razek told BrandWeek.com, however, that the show will again see the light of day.
“You haven’t seen the last of it,” he said.
The Federal Communications Commission has been busy dealing with the issue of decency on the public airwaves ever since the Super Bowl incident.
The National Association of Broadcasters held a summit on responsible programming at the end of March, at which FCC Chairman Michael Powell told the broadcasters that the FCC should not write a rule book for what type of content exactly is allowed and when. Rather, he suggested that broadcasters better police themselves
“The Super Bowl incident and the debate it unleashed is not really about a bare breast,” he said. “It is not whether our society can accept public displays of the human body. It can. What really upset people was the shock and amazement that such material would appear on that program at that time, without warning, and without any reasonable expectation that they would see such a thing.”
The “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” aired on CBS in 2002 and 2003, and on ABC in 2001.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.