Surely one day, brands will learn not to try hashtag campaigns about potentially controversial subjects. Right?
Plus size retailer Lane Bryant has been getting a lot of attention lately for their #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual campaigns, well-intentioned efforts that were supposed to celebrate all body types. Unfortunately, by “all body types” they seem to have meant “size 12,” as their ads feature nothing but tall models with hourglass figures. Beautiful, certainly, but not representative of what “plus size” means for the average woman.
CMO Brian Beitler hosted a Twitter chat yesterday using the #AskLaneBryant, and to say that it backfired is an understatement. Many plus sized women decided to use the opportunity to call Lane Bryant out, asking why the ad campaign only focused on a certain type of woman, or even questioning the ethics of cashing in on women’s insecurities to sell products in the first place.
The backlash got so intense that the Lane Bryant Twitter account had to acknowledge it, saying “We’re so grateful for the candidness and openness today. We had such a short amount of time but want to keep the convo going.”
You’ve got to feel for the social media people running the ad, who weren’t in charge of the marketing campaign and had to deal with all that confrontation. Couldn’t have been an easy time.