dangerous messages of unhealthy body image through petitions and advertising campaigns, making it well understood that there is no “perfect” shape for anyone, male or female alike. Yet there is one company which is often seen as a primary offender of these ideals, and after a poorly worded campaign, they’ve been brought to task once more.

Victoria’s Secret, as a company, is synonymous with pictures of scantily clad, very thin models. But their latest marketing material for their “Body” line of bras included the word “perfect,” prompting social media uproar and a global petition.

If you haven’t seen it, last month Victoria’s Secret released their newest campaign which featured ten of their models, each of them incredibly thin, behind the words “The Perfect ‘Body.’” Many saw the word choice as more than unfortunate, but down right irresponsible. Three British students created an online petition at Change.org asking the company to not only apologize for using the word “perfect” associated with ten rail-thin ladies, but also pledge to never use this kind of marketing going forward. The negative attention the campaign is receiving might have worked, too. Since then, Victoria’s Secret has very quietly changed the language to a more responsible (and better fitting) “A Body For Everybody.” The image, however, has not changed.

Supporters of the Change.org petition were encouraged to contact Victoria’s Secret directly via Twitter using the hashtag “#iamperfect” while other companies also joined the conversation. One such company, Dear Kate, even shot their own photo mimicking the original. The latter image shows ten ladies of different sizes, un-retouched, with the words “The Perfect Body,” without the quotes seen in the original Victoria’s Secret image.

Every company which markets to the public must keep their audience and customers in mind. This is more easily done when they avoid inadvertently insulting these people. It’s likely a large company such as Victoria’s Secret won’t be left reeling from the backlash of this particular controversy, but their misstep provides a valuable lesson. Before any marketing campaign is launched, it’s best to carefully consider your audience and even ask if there’s any way the message could turn customers away or worse, offend them.

For companies not quite as large as Victoria’s Secret, carefully considering all marketing messages is of dire importance. IntelliBright has years of experience working together with small and mid-sized businesses to craft their marketing strategies aiming to effectively convert leads into sales. With a combination of expertly built websites and a high-performing analytic strategy, IntelliBright guarantees you’ll enjoy higher revenues as a result of partnering with us. If your company is ready to move to the next level, call IntelliBright for a free consultation! (888) 704-7677