The rumors are true, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show known for its colorful spectacle of pop music, teeny tiny lingerie and some of the world’s most famous supermodels, has had long been a ratings powerhouse and a prime-time marketing bonanza, until now.
“We think it’s important to evolve the marketing of Victoria’s Secret,” Stuart Burgdoerfer, the chief financial officer of L Brands, said on an earnings call on Thursday, Nov 22.
After some very public controversy, especially over the last 12-18 months, it would appear the brands ‘inclusion’ of diverse models, had heeded the public outcry in sales.
According to a recent report in The New York Times, “The decision came as Victoria’s Secret, long the leader in lingerie, has struggled to find its footing through multiple challenges. Consumers have come to see the brand as anachronistic, out of place in the #MeToo era as offering an objectifying view of female beauty. Sales have cratered for years, with more nimble competitors on the rise. And its longtime chief executive, Leslie H. Wexner, has come under scrutiny for his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.”
The fashion show alone was once their most successful marketing tool, with more than 12 million people tuning in to the first show in 2001. Since then viewership had drastically dropped and in the last five years, the numbers have had the hardest hit. An audience of 9.7 million in 2013 reduced to just 3.3 million in 2018.
“You know what, we’re sick of seeing the same body type,” said former Victoria’s Secret model Kate Upton in a recent interview, “you have to be body inclusive now. Every woman needs to be represented. Otherwise, it’s a snoozefest.”
There’s been no official word from L Brands on what they have decided to replace the show with for marketing the brand during the holiday season.
PHOTO: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For Victoria’s Secret