As regular readers of B&T would know, we often report on the marketing activities – even the ones that don’t get banned – of Aussie lingerie firm Honey Birdette. We need to declare, we don’t chase the stuff, but it’s sent to the B&T office via its ever-efficient PR team.
Last week, B&T reported on its latest campaign titled campaign titled “Office Party” that appeared to play on the Christmas tradition of a drunken office work bash. This time, however, with very attractive models gadding about in expensive lingerie. The campaign came with a racy stills campaign and social media TVC. Check it out below:
However, since the launch of the the campaign the company has been defending itself against claims it is offensive and wrong to portray women in their undergarments at an office party.
Opponents soon railed against the brand’s aesthetic on social media: “The advertising is ignorant and honestly kind of stupid. It’s pretty, fun and exciting, everyone looks like they’re having a great time which is what I’m sure the point was. But to overlook the obvious issues was a serious mistake. The men are all fully dressed, really?” one aggrieved person penned.
While another added: “This is some degrading shit to women in the workplace. We are still fighting to close the wage gap, male co-workers already sexualise and dehumanise women in the workplace, patronising them for their looks and behaviours at work.”
“Some women don’t attend their work parties for fear of being sexually harassed. This is disgusting, but really not surprising TBH,” wrote another.
However, not everyone was in the anti camp. One supporter wrote: “Love this campaign you absolute goddess. Next time I’m coming to the party. Thank you for empowering women to dress sexy without fear of ‘consequences’ and to celebrate our badass bodies.”
However, Honey Birdette founder and managing director, Eloise Monaghan, said the latest fracas was nothing she’d not endured with the brand before. Only recently, the Australian Standards Bureau forced the company to take down provocative in-store posters after several complaints about the sexualised imagery.
On the latest controversy, Monaghan said: “There’s a disturbing conservative theme out there but we will keep doing what we do! Women can embrace their sexuality without fear of assault. How ridiculous.”