Sportswear brand Lorna Jane has come under fire in the past 24 hours after an ad it posted had asked for specific body measurement requirements.
The ad for a receptionist/model has sparked a heap of media hype and backlash on social media with fans lambasting the brand for the ad. See the ad here.
And now Pauline Hanson has had her say on the issue. Appearing on Seven’s Sunrise the politician defended the brand, saying companies should be able to advertise for who they want.
“If you’re employing people, you should be able to advertise for who you want, whether it be male or female, fat or thin, I don’t care,” she said on the morning program. “Because you are the one paying the wages, you know what works for your business.” See the clip below.
B&T spoke to a Lorna Jane spokesperson yesterday and was told there had been a “miscommunication” around what had been meant by the role Fit Model.
“Any garment that comes in that’s ready to sell we will measure them on this Fit Model, and ensure all the seams sit flat, there’s no puckering, no gaping, ensuring there’s an overall good fit. And obviously from there, any alterations are made…to make the garments fit well and go out to stores,” said the spokesperson.
“There’s been a bit of miscommunication around that and it’s not so much that it’s obviously someone’s who’s physically fit, it’s someone who is going to be used for garments.”
While social media has been taken by storm with users attacking the sportswear brand, Hannah O’Donnell, managing director of PR company Straight Up PR, doesn’t think it will hurt the brand overall.
“The ad was simply poorly written as what they were advertising for is a dual role – a receptionist who could also be a model, however this wasn’t clear and has now blown up,” she told B&T.
“The reality is with any modelling role there is always going to be size requirements but the difference here is that this isn’t the norm with receptionist roles which is where the criticism is coming from. I think everyone just needs to step back and see the ad for what it really is – a dual role where size requirements are mandate.”
Jackie Crossman, CEO of Crossman Communications, believes it will harm the brand’s rep in the short term, and the brand probably shouldn’t have included the measurements in the ad.
“It will have a short term impact on their brand, the degree of which depends on what they do next,” Crossman told B&T.
“Lorna Jane has a great reputation for empowering women and encouraging a healthy active lifestyle. What they have sought to do is fill a combined role of receptionist and fit model. It is the second part of the role that requires a specific size range to do the job effectively.
“With hindsight they would probably agree that they should not have stipulated the size requirements as it doesn’t sit well with their reputation. The downside of this approach will be time wasting for them and unsuitable applicants, and giving people false hope. But that’s modern society.”
It seems like an honest mistake, is the viewpoint of BMF’s planning director, Hugh Munro.
“At first glance, looks like an example of ‘what not to do’ that you see in mandatory HR Discrimination & Harassment Seminars,” he said. “But then a fashion-forward colleague told me that a ‘Fit Model’ is actually someone who tries on the clothes to assess whether they fit – and requiring specific shapes and sizes seems appropriate.
“It seems like a pretty honest mistake, I doubt there will be any long-term damage to the brand. If anything, it may present an opportunity for Lorna Jane to create a positive conversation around body shapes and sizes.”
Lead image sourced via 2GB.