Are curvy models too hot for TV?

A "rejected" Lane Bryant ad is causing a stir.

Plus-size women’s retailer Lane Bryant is causing a stir over an ad it says U.S. broadcasters ABC and NBC is refusing to air.

The ad features numerous models, including Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ashley Graham, in various levels of dresses, from workout gear and dresses to lingerie and full-on (though complexity tasteful) nudity.

For what it’s worth, NBC has said that it didn’t “ban” the ad, merely sent back notes on editing as part of a regular review, but the retailer is saying it refuses to edit the spot, because it says the spot does a better job of truly representing body diversity. ABC has yet to comment to any outlet that has reached out.

On the one hand, we can see why a network might take issue with models in a pose that just barely covers a nipple or shows a woman breast feeding (although peoples’ hang-ups regarding the “indecency” of both of those is another story altogether). On the other hand, and this is what the fuss is really about, is anything in the ad really any more racy than your typical Victoria’s Secret or Carl’s Jr. ad? Even if Lane Bryant submitted the ad knowing it would get rejected (a fairly common tactic to get edgy points by being able to see their spots are “too hot for TV”), the fact that they were able to do so is a pretty big statement about body standards in mass media, orchestrated or not.


Brand: Lane Bryant
Agency: Laird + Partners

Chief Executive Officer: Linda Heasley
Chief Marketing Officer: Brian Beitler
Assistant Vice President, Marketing: Kathy Quickert
Senior Marketing Manager: Heather McGarry
Digital Director: Richard Ledger
Senior Copy Manager: Chris Frey
Associate Creative Director: Nick Coakley
Vice President, Creative: Mindy Torrey
Vice President, Strategy: Vicki Shamion

Executive Creative Director, Partner: Hans Dorsinville
Senior Art Director: Georgina Rex
Editorial Director: Ranjani Gopalarathinam
Account Supervisor: Lauren Levine
Head of Digital Strategy: Mike Karam
Senior Producer: Alexandra Lunn
Production Associate: Caitlin Phelps
Senior Vice President, Global Print Production: Patrick Kinsella,