The Mission Viejo Dispatch blog reported this week that an ad dispayed in the window of the Bath & Body Works store in the Shops at Mission Viejo mall, featuring the above image, "is stirring some controversy."
"The pose does not display any body parts which would alone be considered obscene," writes Dispatch editor Brad Morton
, "but the naked condition of the model provokes outrage by some passers-by."
The only concrete example we have of "some passers-by" is the Dispatch's mention of a man complaining to city hall and the mall's management, neither of whom seem to be able to do much about it. But apparently a few years ago, customer grousing caused the corporate headquarters of Abercrombie & Fitch to order their Mission Viejo store to remove a racy ad from its windows--without sending the same order to other Orange County branches of the franchise.
A similar or identical ad at a Bath & Body Works in Oregon caused a similar or identical "controversy" less than a month ago, according to this article
cited by the Dispatch. The story in the Statesman Journal
features one excellent line:
"The woman is absolutely stark naked, and they must have photo-shopped her shaved areas because they would be visible otherwise. It definitely doesn't belong in a public area," said Perkins, who says she's not just a cranky old grandma who complains a lot.
You'd imagine this sort of thing would be a daily fact of life for Bath & Body Works' public relations department. But when we called their corporate owners
--who also run Victoria's Secret
--they declined to say how commonly they received complaints about ads featuring people, well, ready to bathe
"At Bath & Body Works, it is never our intention to offend a customer by the nature or content of our marketing," a spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. "We respect the opinions of others and consider customer feedback when determining the direction for future initiatives."