Lovable, I think you missed the point

Here’s the disappointing but not surprising response to my letter to Lovable.

We take a serious view of the way women are portrayed in the media and in particular in our campaigns. We are very aware of the impact the type of images and messages can have on people. We strive to represent happy, healthy and realistic body images that capture the essence of Lovable’s brand values of being confident and comfortable. We do not deny that the image has been slightly retouched for colour correction purposes, as is done by most advertisers.

We believe that a healthy body on the inside is the most important priority for all women. That includes your happiness, you comfort and the pride you take in who you are. We have put this into practice by ensuring that our Lovable range is available in a size range from 8 – 18 and it remains affordable for all Australian women. We have also purposefully chosen a range of women of different sizes to reflect this on our website, including our maternity models (size 14) and DD cup model (size 12). We will take on board your comments to reflect more body shapes in forthcoming online store activities.

The creative was not developed to offend or to suggest “soft porn” as you describe, but use Lovable’s cheeky tone of voice to demonstrate the new  Colour names for our advertised product via  fun Props that remind the viewer of Summer, Lemon sorbet, Blueberry milkshake etc.

This was the intention of the creative agency ,  the Lovable team  and our brand ambassador. Lovable sells products to Women only and hence the advertisement has been placed in shows and Magazines targeting women.

The Campaign has been received well in general by our consumers, but we understand that lingerie advertising does indeed cause issues, whether viewed on Billboards or Television. The Rating that Lovable was given by  Commercials Advice Pty Ltd (CAD) commonly used for rating Television commercials was a G Rating.

Lovable are proud of The Butterfly Foundation‘s fantastic work in eating disorder research, awareness and prevention programs.

During September, 25% of profits from our online store will be donated directly to The Butterfly Foundation.

I find it ironic that their they are happy to admit retouching and justify it with the phrase ‘as is done by most advertisers’. But Lovable, I thought you wanted to change the culture??

But my favourite is ‘fun props that remind the viewer of Summer’. Nope. They remind me of porn.

Clearly they have missed (or chosen to ignore) the point.

My letter to Lovable

Melinda Tankard Reist has written an article this week about Lovable’s new ad campaign. Please read these and consider spending a few minutes writing to Lovable about them. CollectiveShout has some tips on what you might like to include in your message.

You can read Melinda’s letter here. And here is mine.

I writing to you to express my concern with your new ‘Lovable love colour’ ad featuring Jennifer Hawkins.
According to your website you are  “dedicated to changing the culture surrounding eating disorders and body image through our support of Butterfly, by using happy, healthy models in our campaigns and promotional activities and by continuing to design intimates that are not created to objectify women’s bodies but to make women look, and most importantly feel, great when they wear them.”
It seems that this is actually not the case.
1. While it may be that you design intimates that are not created to objectify women, you clearly have no desire to design advertise them in a way that does not objectify women. Putting a women in underwear and having ice cream dripping down her, having her sucking on straws, and on her finger in several shots, is so suggestive that it is little more than soft porn. I certainly would turn this ad off if there were children in the room.
2. It is not clear to me how this kind of ad campaign ‘changes the culture’ surrounding eating disorders and body image. It seems to me that it actually REFLECTS the current culture. If you could explain this to me that would be helpful.
Having a statement like this on your website and then producing ads like this one is nothing short of outright hypocrisy. It is offensive to anyone who has or is suffering from poor body image issues and/or eating disorders. Far from changing culture this campaign (and others like it) add to the current culture and the enormous amount of damage it does to women.
I hope that you will take the time to read and respond to my concerns.

David has also written a letter well worth reading. You can contact Lovable here.